Posts posted by JumpinJack AJ
‘Chris Rock: Selective Outrage’ Review: Despite Scathing Will Smith Material, Live Netflix Special Feels Conspicuously Canned
The comic addressed Will Smith and wokeness in his new comedy special, which aired live with a pre-show and post-show.
BY DANIEL FIENBERGMARCH 4, 2023 10:56PMOne day, a century from now, somebody will be checking out Netflix’s Chris Rock: Selective Outrage special. They’ll be doing it on a streaming service dedicated to serving viewers their entertainment in five- or ten-minute chunks — quick bites, as it were — because that will be the way everybody will be ingesting their entertainment in 2123. That person won’t be watching with any interest in the timeliness of the special. They won’t be watching with any hunger for what Chris Rock had to say about wokeness or Will Smith, because if we’re still talking about cancel culture and Slapgate in 2123, that will make mushroom zombies look like utopia. But anyway, they’re gonna be watching and they’re going to very, very briefly be confused by Rock doing a joke about how Slapgate started when Jada Pinkett Smith got pissed off that Will Smith didn’t get an Oscar nomination for Emancipation. And they’re going to be so darned confused. For five seconds.“Not Emancipation. I ****ed up the joke. Concussion,” Rock said, quickly realizing that the punchline on his horizon involved Smith not getting a nomination for Concussion and then … giving him a concussion.
And that, kids, is the beauty of live TV. Netflix attempted to build a live stunt out of Rock doing stand-up material that he’s been doing on the road for 10 months, and the only thing that would tell you the special was live was — after making viewers wait 61 minutes for the inevitable Will Smith material — Rock ****ing up the joke. A joke he’s probably made around the country dozens of times.
It’s not judgment, by the way, to note that a comedy special is the filmed version of an oft-repeated, highly refined stand-up set. If there’s ever been a comic who did an entirely improvised filmed special, I don’t know who it was — but then again, there’s very rarely been a comic whose workshopped reactions to a very public event were getting printed in newspapers in every city he went to.
“Chris Rock Breaks His Silence on Oscars Slap” is a headline I’m sure you’re going to see on every website in the known universe, which will then repeat the punchlines that journalists in Phoenix and Shreveport and Atlanta reported when Rock made those jokes on the road. Sure, “breaks his silence on national TV,” or whatever it is Netflix is. But this prior workshopping is how I already knew, going into the Netflix special, that Rock was going to make the joke about their respective differences in stature, noting that even in animation, Smith was a shark and Rock was a zebra. This is a joke he has made repeatedly, and nobody cares that in Shark Tale, Smith voices a TINY little fish who hangs out with the shark voiced by Jack Black.
For live TV, Chris Rock will correct the Concussion/Emancipation joke, but he’ll keep perpetrating lies about Shark Tale.
Anyway, as for the actual Will Smith material that everybody was waiting for? Yeah, Rock went off, mostly blaming Jada Pinkett Smith for the whole thing and mocking Will for taking out his frustration about his wife’s very public cuckolding conversations on him.
“That is some bitch-ass ****,” Rock said. Not controversial, but pointed.
I could talk about the text of the special itself, but I’m a TV critic and not a comedy critic. I could point out that a shocking amount of Rock’s material felt somewhere between dated and embalmed. That was a very long run of jokes about Elon Musk’s sperm. That was a weirdly stale series of jokes about the Kardashians and O.J. Simpson. And it’s all fine and well to make jokes about victimization culture in 2023, but it’s material that’s funnier if you didn’t watch Rock’s last Netflix special, Tamborine, in which the entire second half was Rock lamenting his status as the victim in his recent divorce settlement.
The stuff about people getting triggered and woke corporations that started the show? Not awful. Just stale. Material that has been done to death by 50 late-night comics and other comedians who got their new specials out earlier. Rock is a provocateur, darnit! Nothing in Selective Outrage raised my hackles. I didn’t even get a semi-hackle. My hackles were flaccid.
Like Rock’s “Why didn’t Meghan Markle Google the royal family?” bit? The number of people on Twitter who made that joke when Meghan sat down with Oprah and then during her Netflix documentary and every day in between could be in the millions. The thing you have to remember: Rock’s version of the stalest and oldest jokes will always be written better than 99 percent of the comics out there and delivered better than 100 percent of them. Rock is, in this current landscape, a stand-up without peer. This will probably, however, be the first Rock stand-up special ever that didn’t have a moment or many moments that instantly embedded themselves in the culture. The culture moves fast.
That’s part of why Netflix wanted to accentuate the liveness of this special, complete with a pre-show that nobody needed and a post-show that, well, nobody needed.
Ronny Chieng’s intro to the pre-show, mind you, was fantastic. “We’re doing a comedy show. On Saturday night. Live. Genius,” Chieng deadpanned, mocking Netflix’s “innovation” here. That was pretty good. The post-show had some good moments as well, especially everybody on the panel making fun of nominal hosts David Spade and Dana Carvey for the strangeness of two white guys orchestrating the analysis of jokes by a Black comedian. The real joke, though, is how unnecessary post-comedy-special analysis turns out to be in the first place. That, again, is what Twitter is for!
As for how the liveness impacted the show on a formal level? Well, the easiest thing to do is go back and watch Tamborine, a generally uneven but frequently brilliant special that’s notable for how fantastically directed it is. Bo Burnham made a Chris Rock special that looked like no previous Chris Rock special. There are so many close-ups. Almost all close-ups for long stretches. The lighting is impressively evocative. It’s a moody piece of material, and it looks moody! The camera is in exactly the right place to catch every micro-expression when subtlety is the thing Rock is going for, and every piece of physical comedy when he dances or mimes oral sex.
Chris Rock comedy specials have been really well-directed as a rule, and “comedy special direction” isn’t a thing we talk about very often. Give it up to Keith Truesdell for capturing the almost feral, prowling intensity of a young Rock in Bigger & Blacker. Or to Joel Gallen for reflecting the more mature version of Rock a few years later in Never Scare.
Gallen was back behind the camera on Selective Outrage and he just got beat down by live-ness. I can’t say whether or not every Rock performance on his recent tour has been as overlit as this one, but it was like the comic was standing in the floodlights for 72 minutes tonight and the only reasonable justification was that it’s just easier to film if you don’t need to worry about what happens when the performer wanders into a shadow or fails to travel in perfect unison with the spotlight. Instead, Rock was blandly and perfectly over-illuminated every second. Again, go back to Tamborine and see what Burnham accomplished. It’s darned artistic.
Then again, Burnham was lucky enough to be dealing with a slightly more stable piece of Rock self-choreography. Rock began his career as a stage-marcher, going back and forth and back and forth. He seemed to slow and mellow with age. For Selective Outrage? Back to prowling! Back and forth and back and forth! And if you have three or four cameras rolling at all times and you can edit stuff together, that doesn’t need to be a nauseating experience. Here, it was like the primary camera was stuck in the same medium shot, on a tripod, and it just went back and forth and back and forth with him. Like rocking, so to speak, back and forth on a rickety vessel while the audience at Baltimore’s Hippodrome laughed, but never in quite the immersive way we’ve come to expect from crowds at Rock’s specials, which have always been half-entertainment and half-church.
A well-directed comedy special gives you, simultaneously, the impression of being in the audience and having access and intimacy that nobody at home (or even in the venue) gets. There was basically none of that intimacy here. It was like watching a comic appearing on The Tonight Show or something where there’s one camera setup and that’s the perspective you get and you accept it because that’s what the format looks like. This was live, but it felt canned.
Except for that one moment when Rock confused Concussion and Emancipation.
So when you see that guy in 100 years watching Selective Outrage and he gets to the gaffe and he briefly looks confused, that’s when you lean over to him — yes, you’re immortal in this situation, which gives you the right to butt in — and say, “That! That imperfection. That’s the magic of live TV! Oh, and Will Smith was a Bluestreak cleaner wrasse and not a shark in Shark Tale.”
Chris Rock Slams Will Smith in Live Comedy Special for Netflix: “I’m not a victim, baby”
"You will never see me on Oprah crying. It's never gonna happen," the comedian said.
BY CHRISTY PIÑA
MARCH 4, 2023 8:27PMIt was the moment many had been waiting nearly a year for — a chance to hear just how Chris Rock would finally address Will Smith’s Oscar night smackdown of the comedian on the Academy stage with a slap that will live in infamy.
Perhaps because Rock knew much of the audience who tuned in were waiting for just that moment, he saved it toward near the end of his set Saturday night during Netflix’s much hyped first live special Chris Rock: Selective Outrage!
But when the moment finally came, Rock didn’t hold back — taking down Smith, dragging his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and targeting the couple’s marital issues (in which Pinkett Smith acknowledged a relationship with singer August Alsina as the couple addressed their marriage on an episode of Red Table Talk).
“Will Smith practices selective outrage,” Rock told the audience. “Outrage because everybody knows what the **** happened. Everybody that really knows, knows that I have nothing to do with that ****. I didn’t have any entanglements.”
He continued, “His wife was ****ing her son’s friend. OK, now, I normally would not talk about this ****, but for some reason, these n—-s put that **** on the internet. I have no idea why two talented people would do something that lowdown. What the ****? And we’ve all been cheated on. Everybody in here has been cheated on. None of us have ever been interviewed by the person that cheated on us on television.”
“She hurt him way more than he hurt me. Everybody in the world called him a bitch. I tried to call the mother****er, I tried to call that man and give him my condolences, he didn’t pick up for me.” He continued by listing all the people who called Smith a “bitch” after that interview on Red Table Talk, including Charlamagne Tha God and The View. “Everybody called him a bitch, and who did he hit? Me — a n—a he knows he could beat. That is some bitch ass ****.”
While this is not the first time Rock addressed Smith’s slap — much of Saturday’s material was present in his shows as he toured the country over the past year — they were the first comments before a wide audience as Rock headlined Netflix’s first foray into live programming, a global event that featured a pre-show and post show with guests that included Arsenio Hall, Amy Schumer, J.B. Smoove, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dana Carvey and others.“I’m gonna try to do a show tonight without offending nobody,” Rock said, kicking off his stand-up special from Baltimore. “I’m gonna try my best because you never know who’s going to get triggered.”
He added he didn’t mind “wokeness” but isn’t a fan of the “selective outrage,” the kind of people who will listen to Michael Jackson but not R. Kelly: “same crime — one of them just got better songs.”
Among the topics Rock covered included the Capitol Riots: “White men trying to overthrow the government that they run?” Rock said. “They’re like, ‘Damn, we gotta get them out of office.’ Who? Us?”
Later, he touched on the idea that white men felt they were being edged out of power, and joked whether commercials featuring interracial couples were part of their ire.
“There’s no Black couples either,” he said. “Every commercial has a mixed-race couple,” adding that he saw a commercial the other day where a Japanese woman was married to a caterpillar.
“By the way, speaking of commercials, when did Snoop Dogg become Morgan Freeman?” Rock joked. “I saw a commercial the other day where Snoop was selling reverse mortgages.” But he made it a purpose to note that he loves Snoop Dogg. “I’m not dissing Snoop. The last thing I need is another mad rapper,” he added, to cheers from the crowd.
But of course, the rapper who was the main target of the night was Smith, though a good deal of his ire was directed toward Pinkett Smith. Rock recalled when Pinkett Smith had called for Blacks to boycott the Oscars amid the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in 2016; Rock went on to host that year’s show.“She started this ****. She said that me, a ****ing grown ass man, should quit his job because ‘My husband didn’t get nominated for Concussion,‘ and then this n—-a gives me a ****ing concussion.”
Toward the end of the special, Rock changed his tone a bit, saying, “I loved Will Smith. My whole life, I loved Will Smith. I saw him open up for Run-D.M.C. … He makes great movies. I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life,” Rock said. “And now I watch Emancipation just to see him get whooped.”
Rock used the last minute of Selective Outrage to answer the question he’s gotten a lot since the Slap: Why didn’t you do anything back? “‘Cause I got parents,” Rock said. “‘Cause I was raised. And you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people.”
The pre-show featured appearances from fellow comics and Rock’s friends, including Schumer and Jerry Seinfeld. The Daily Show‘s Ronny Chieng hosted the special, with Hall, Deon Cole and Leslie Jones also appearing.
Chieng kicked off the night live at Los Angeles’ Comedy Store.
“I cannot emphasize how live things are today,” The Daily Show correspondent said. “We are live from two different locations simultaneously, Los Angeles and Baltimore. Why? For absolutely no reason. This is extremely expensive and difficult and irritating.”
The comedian also poked fun at how they’re doing a live comedy show on a Saturday night, a concept that has existed for decades, aka Saturday Night Live.Chieng then introduced Hall, who shared how Rock got him back into stand-up. Toward the end of his brief set at the Comedy Store, Hall said that he hopes everyone enjoys the night “because I know somewhere Will Smith will not.”
“Trust me. We won’t know this, but I bet you Will Smith slaps the **** out of a TV tonight,” he joked. “He gon’ knock that mother****er off the wall.”
Matthew McConaughey, Ali Wong, Woody Harrelson, Paul McCartney, Rosie Perez, Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Hart, Sarah Silverman, Ice-T, Adam Sandler and many others wished Rock luck ahead of his live event.
I was promised a part in the 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' remake — instead I left LA jobless and in debt
Top editors give you the stories you want — delivered right to your inbox each weekday.
- Rufus Burns played the role of Jazz in the viral short film 'Bel-Air,' based on the sitcom, 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.'
- When the television version of the short film was picked up by NBC, Burns believed he'd reprise the role.
- Burns moved to LA on his own dime and contributed creatively to the show, but was never cast.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Rufus Burns, a producer who works in Kansas City. Insider has verified Burns' creative involvement in the "Bel-Air" reboot with email correspondence, text messages, and other supporting documentation. His words have been edited for length and clarity.
I moved to Kansas City to get my master of fine arts in acting and directing. I'm a classically trained artist. I've spent most of my time since 2012 in Kansas City, working, living, and creating art there.
Morgan Cooper — who would eventually become a co-creator, director, and executive producer on "Bel-Air" — and I met in 2018, on a film project. I remember really appreciating our partnership when we first met. We just hit it off, talking about characters and filmmaking in general, and how it can help Black people.
We agreed early on that our motto working together would be that our art isn't what we make, it's who we are — because we can make beautiful things, but if it's destroying our community, it's not worth it. It seemed like a great creative match and friendship at the time.
In 2018, the idea for a dramatic version of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' came up
We were working on some other projects together and Cooper called me up and said he had an idea for a spec he wanted to shoot. He was like, "I want to do 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' but as a serious drama." And I was like, "Yeah, man, absolutely. I love that." I thought it was the most brilliant idea in the world. He said he wanted me to play Jazz in it (Will's best friend character in the sitcom), which I was excited about.
We shot what would become the viral short that inspired the 'Bel-Air' reboot in 2018, and I played Jazz. It was a great experience. Six or seven months went by, and Cooper was still working on post-production and stuff for it. We continued to shoot other stuff together — two other films since then. Looking back, I realize that what I really missed out on was the business part of show business. I just wanted to talk shop and pitch ideas — but then he would go and write the ideas down and come back with scripts. I thought it was cool — I liked seeing my ideas come to life.
Cooper called me when he went to go meet Will Smith and pitch the show. He showed me the pitch deck, and my character, Jazz, was a big part of it. I had shared part of my own personal story with him to add to the character — I've been blind in my left eye since birth, and we talked about adding that to Jazz's story. He wears sunglasses all the time because it's an insecurity of his. He's committed to overcoming this setback by giving his heart and soul to music and art. That's all my personal experience.
When the show was picked up, I had chills — it was incredible to see the impact we had, making this short. Cooper sent me messages like, "Hey man, you're gonna be Jazz in the television version — get ready for your life to change."
When I heard him say that, especially with him being attached as the executive producer and co-creator on "Bel-Air," I figured it was a done deal. I proceeded to mold my life around that opportunity.
We moved out to LA to start pre-production on 'Bel-Air,' and I worked for free
As we started to get closer to pre-production for "Bel-Air," Cooper said I should move out to LA. I thought it made perfect sense — we should be there for when things start to ramp up. I'm playing one of the lead roles after all, right? I should go research my character and learn the area he's from.
Cooper had me drive his car, with all of his stuff, out to LA in October of 2020. I could feel that I was putting myself in a vulnerable position, but it felt like the opportunity of a lifetime. You throw all these cautions to the wind, dive in, and give yourself over to it because you're thinking it has to pay off.
I was in the writers room Zoom call when they kicked off pre-production for "Bel-Air." I'd sit in the virtual writers room meetings and take notes, do research, and pitch storylines. Cooper would send me scripts that NBC would send him, and have me read them and give my feedback — then I would sit in the meetings and hear him pitch my feedback verbatim to NBC.
I didn't see a problem with it at that time. I was just mesmerized, like "Wow, I'm part of something historic," when what I should've been thinking was, "Hey, I should be getting paid for this." But Cooper would say stuff like, "I'm gonna shoot you some bread for this," or "I'll see about getting you paid." It was never, "I'm gonna put you on the show as an employee," though. After a couple of months of me working like this, the show eventually hired a writer's assistant to do what I was doing — and Cooper never followed up about payment or anything.
I'm a producer and actor with common sense, but when you have someone in your ear promising you certain things, it's really hard to stop and be like, "Hey, I'm not getting paid for months and months of work and I'm starting to struggle financially." It was a weird balance because it's like, you're my homie, but I'm not eating, and you're eating off all this.
During pre-production, we started another project together that feels like it was a distraction from 'Bel-Air,' looking back on it now
Cooper and I continued to work on other projects together. He came to me with another idea for a short film that I would star in, which was supposed to take a week to shoot but ultimately turned into three months. Some of it was written and some of it was improvised, so it was a heavy lift that felt like it would go on and on forever, shooting this thing.
He sent me $1,000 at the start of the film project we were doing and was like, "Hey man, here's a little bit for the film." I was really struggling at this point because LA is expensive, and I have no job because I'm working with him all the time — so $1,000 wasn't going to help me much. I'm thinking we're biding time until 'Bel-Air' is ready to shoot, so I'm down to keep moving forward with nothing else steady to live on.We got some of the same team together from the viral "Bel-Air" short, and we all worked on this feature film together while pre-production continued on the TV show. We'd all been offered the opportunity to be part of "Bel-Air" in some form or another — to be seen by casting for a role, or to apply for crew work — so I wasn't the only one fueled by that promise.
Months later, in July of 2021, Cooper brings us together and says he's canceling the feature film. His day job ("Bel-Air") was taking up too much of his time and he wouldn't be able to finish the film. So basically, we did all that (unpaid) work for nothing. A producer from the "Bel-Air" short who had been financing the film was offered reimbursement. I wasn't. I'd paid over $12,000 on a months-long Airbnb stay.
As that's happening, I see Cooper's posted the production schedule for "Bel-Air'' — and I see it starts shooting in a couple of weeks. I never got to read for or be cast as Jazz, which I was fully expecting was going to happen, so I was wondering how it's possible the cast isn't set when shooting's about to start. That's when I heard whispers from other people involved that "Bel-Air" had already been cast.
I'd been part of this project in one way or another for three years — so not getting any word from Cooper about what was going on felt like a real betrayal. We haven't talked since then. A couple of weeks later, the official cast list was released.
I was crushed. We were supposed to be boys
I felt like that feature film was a distraction to keep me from asking questions and finding out that I wasn't going to be part of the show in any way. I had moved all of Cooper's stuff from Kansas City out to LA, I'd been paying LA rent with no job and living off of nothing but a dream and a prayer.
At the same time, I had bills that had accrued during that time. I moved out of LA the first week of August — I just couldn't afford to continue living there. Not only that, I was devastated; I just couldn't be in the area.
Cooper did eventually reach out in December of 2021, offering to mend the relationship. It was too little, too late for me. After six months of not speaking, I realized that my friendship was profitable to him — and without him acknowledging what had happened, there was nothing to fix anymore.
I have advice for other artists
Things looked up for me pretty quickly after returning to Kansas City. I got a full-time gig producing and I've been loving it ever since. I hire actors now, and I see how these artists are feeding themselves on their day rates — so to skip out on somebody's day rate is unimaginable to me, as I look back on the experience I had.
I thought about swallowing my story and just taking the L — I learned a lesson, and I'm going to choose to move differently from now on — but I wanted to share this story so other artists can learn this: Somebody's promise isn't going to feed you. If they love you, they'll put it in writing.
I also want artists to know that your personal story is important. Don't be so quick to give that up to a director or another producer who can then go make millions of dollars off of it.
Editor's note: Insider reached out to both Morgan Cooper and NBC, which owns Peacock, for comment. NBC declined to comment. Cooper and his representatives did not respond to repeated messages.
Were you involved in the "Bel-Air" short film? Do you work in Hollywood and have a story to share? Email Eboni Boykin-Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I mostly hate the streaming game. It's just a way to further rob artists and prevent new talent from ever hitting sucess on the charts. However, I do like that it makes music assessable to people and how it makes all content current. Anyway, I thought this was cool. To be honest, I didn't listen to Mariah's 2009 a lot, but I wore out her 2014 album. When this song started finding a new buzz weeks ago, I thought it was from her 2014 album, exclusively.
TikTok Helps Mariah Carey ‘Wrap’ Up a New Hit on Hot R&B Songs Chart
The singer's 2009 track is a new viral hit and is the latest example of an older song reaching the charts thanks to the social media app.
By Trevor Anderson03/2/2023Mariah Carey photographed on Nov. 8, 2019 at Spring Studios in New York.Ruven Afanador
A Mariah Carey track more than a decade old makes its debut on Billboard’s Hot R&B Songs chart, as “It’s a Wrap” arrives at No. 24 on the list dated March 4. The track, first released in 2009, earns its debut after the song became the latest viral hit on TikTok, leading to increased streams and sales. (Activity directly on the TikTok platform does not currently count toward the Billboard charts.)
“Wrap” earned 3.6 million official U.S. streams in the week ending Feb. 23, according to Luminate, a 4% jump from the week prior. The tune also sold 1,000 downloads in the same period, though a 60% drop from the week before. One week ago, the cut entered the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales chart at No. 22.
With “Wrap,” Carey achieves her 12th visit to the Hot R&B Songs chart, which launched in 2012, well into the superstar’s recording career. On the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, which encompasses Carey’s entire career, she claims 60 appearances since her 1990 debut, including 10 No. 1 hits.
“Wrap” first appeared on Carey’s 2009 album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, and surfaced again in a remix form with Mary J. Blige on the deluxe edition of Carey’s 2014 set, Me…I Am Mariah: The Elusive Chanteuse, though it was never released as a single. The song generated attention earlier this year on TikTok, particularly through a sped-up version, that became a common soundtrack on many users’ posts on the social media app. Carey herself has joined the trend, posting a clip of herself and Kim Kardashian, and their daughters, North and Monroe, lip-syncing to the track.
Carey’s newest success is the latest example of an older song finding a new audience and streaming gains thanks to TikTok. It has plenty of company on the Hot R&B Songs chart: The Weeknd’s 2016 track “Die for You” sits at No. 3 on the current ranking, Chris Brown’s 2019 track “Under the Influence,” ranks at No. 5, after peaking at No. 2 last November, and Miguel’s “Sure Thing,” a 2011 release is at No. 6. Due to the viral streaming support and fan engagement, “Die for You” and “Sure Thing” were re-promoted to radio stations as official singles, while “Influence” was sent out for the first time. Plus, Justine Skye’s 2014 single “Collide,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, in its own revival on the app, debuted at No. 25 two weeks ago on Hot R&B Songs thanks to its social traction.
The wealth extends to other genres too. Songs outside the R&B realm also enjoying a TikTok-fueled rise include Lady Gaga’s 2011 pop cut “Bloody Mary,” at No. 47 on this week’s all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart and rock band Arctic Monkeys’ “505” from their 2007 album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, which climbs one spot to No. 14 on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart after having reached a No. 12 best last month.
'He played Muhammad Ali, I played Pookie!': Chris Rock FINALLY breaks his silence on infamous Will Smith Oscars slap in new Netflix special Selective Outrage
- Rock, 58, participated in workshop set in Charleston this past January, in which he honed material for upcoming special slated to air live from Baltimore
- He said, 'The thing people want to know ... did it hurt? Hell yeah, it hurt'
- The Netflix special will air live on March 4 from Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre
By ADAM S. LEVY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 19:37 EST, 1 March 2023 | UPDATED: 10:42 EST, 2 March 2023
Chris Rock has opened up for the first time about the infamous Oscars slap he received from Will Smith, in workshopping material for his forthcoming live Netflix special.
In a January set in Charleston, South Carolina in preparation for his upcoming Netflix special Selective Outrage, The Wall Street Journal reported that Rock, 58, talked about the incident that dominated talk of the evening.
He said, 'The thing people want to know . . . did it hurt? Hell yeah, it hurt;' Rock also referenced their respective roles in the 2001 Smith film Ali and his 1991 movie New Jack City: 'He played Muhammad Ali! I played Pookie!'Continue watchingAdam Sandler makes rare appearance with wife Jackie at SAG Awards 2023 after Rock added, according to The US Sun, 'Even in animated movies, I’m a zebra, he’s a f***ing shark.'
Rock referenced one of Smith's rap tracks, saying, 'I got hit so hard I heard Summertime ringing in my ears.'
The latest: Chris Rock, 58, has opened up for the first time about the infamous Oscars slap he received from Will Smith, 54. The two were seen March 27, 2022 at the ceremony in LAhe special will air live on March 4 from Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre on the streaming service, a week ahead of this year's Academy Awards broadcast March 13.
The Oscars exchange between Smith and Rock took place after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head, saying, 'Jada, I love you, G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it!'
The reference was to the 1997 movie which featured Demi Moore with a shaved head. (Pinkett Smith, 51, has diagnosed with alopecia, which causes hair loss.)
The Philadelphia-born actor then walked onstage and smacked Rock, then returned to his seat and shouted at him twice, 'Keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth!' to a stunned audience.
Later in the evening - in his acceptance speech after winning the Best Actor Oscar for his role as tennis patriarch Richard Williams in King Richard - Smith apologized to the Academy and other nominees, but made no reference to Rock.
Smith subsequently apologized on multiple occasions over the incident, and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ahead of being issued a 10-year ban from the Oscars.
In an apology he issued in July over the incident in an online clip, Smith said his spouse 'had nothing to do with' his attack on Rock.
'I made a choice on my own from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,' he said. 'I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I've brought on all of us. I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk.'
Rock will speak about the infamous award show exchange in his new Netflix special Selective Outrage
He referenced their respective roles in the 2001 Smith film Ali and his 1991 movie New Jack City: 'He played Muhammad Ali! I played Pookie!'Smith made international headlines for his outburst toward the comedian at the event at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California
- The Oscars exchange between Smith and Rock took place after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head
Smith subsequently apologized on multiple occasions over the incident, and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ahead of being issued a 10-year ban from the Oscars
Last month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it established a crisis team ahead of this year's March 12 ceremony.
'Because of last year, we've opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars,' Academy CEO Bill Kramer told TIME.
Kramer said that the institution has implemented the organization of a group focused on handling emergency situations at the annual event.
He said: 'We have a whole crisis team, something we've never had before, and many plans in place. We've run many scenarios. So, it is our hope that we will be prepared for anything that we may not anticipate right now but that we're planning for just in case it does happen.'
Kramer said that the return of Jimmy Kimmel as host - the late night star previously hosted in 2017 and 2018 - adds another layer of protection in having a veteran entertainer at the helm of the show.
'That's why you want someone like Jimmy on stage who is used to dealing with live TV: Things don't always go as planned,' Kramer said. 'So you have a host in place who can really pivot and manage those moments... because of last year, we've opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars.'
Kramer said that Academy officials 'could have moved more quickly' in their reactions to the incident involving Smith and Rock, both on the evening of the show and in the aftermath.
'This is really our response after the show, and how we spoke about it, and how we talked to Will and Chris, and our hosts and our members,' he said. 'It was a moment to really bring people together.'
“Hip-hop changed. The music got goofy to me. The kids started looking weird. It all turned into something I wasn’t comfortable with,” he explained. “There was a point where I was selling tons of records, then it cooled off. I felt a certain way.
“Then I realised Public Enemy, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and Wu-Tang Clan weren’t selling records, either. There was a paradigm shift. These kids got softer, and soft is not something I’m able to give audiences. The first word in hip-hop is “hip” so how something stays hip for over 10 years is difficult. … Besides, I still do my ‘Ice-T: Art of Rap’ shows, which is my legacy hip-hop. Think of it like seeing Frank Sinatra. You want to hear the classics.”Ice-T also discussed recently getting a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Asked how he’d have reacted if someone had told him he would get one, he responded: “I would have told you that was impossible.”
“When I started making records, I didn’t come into the music business thinking I would be a star,” he continued. “I was just seeing if I could get a fan base. I didn’t want to be the best rapper. I just wanted to be mentioned among the greats: LL Cool J, Run-DMC. Getting any ‘star’ was way out of reach.”
Ice-T confirmed earlier this week that Body Count had started working on a new album titled ‘Merciless’.
The title is a bit misleading. She wasn't offered the role before Janet. She just passed up the opportunity to audition.
https://shadowandact.com/the-fresh-prince-of-bel-air-daphne-maxwell-reid-said-she-originally-passed-on-the-role-of-character-aunt-viv'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air': Why Daphne Maxwell Reid Originally Passed On The Role Of Aunt VivMonique Jones
November 04, 2021
Daphne Maxwell Reid is setting the record straight about why she took on the role of Aunt Viv after Janet Hubert.
According to the Atlanta Black Star, Maxwell Reid said that she was originally approached to play the popular Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star before Hubert, but passed.
“I remember back in 1989 when we first decided to leave California, I was asked to audition for a little television sitcom with a rapper. And I said, ‘I’m really not interested in doing a sitcom with a rapper who’s not an actor.’ And it turned out to be The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and when I saw it on the air that fall, I said, ‘Oh, this is a cute show. I guess I missed that opportunity.'”
When the show was ready to recast the character, Maxwell Reid said she “got there as fast as I could.”
“I had to audition against 200…300 other women that they found all of the country. And had the…blessedness to meet James Avery and strike a chemical chord with him. I just adore the man and I guess our chemistry worked because I got the job,” she said, adding that his and her families developed a close relationship.
She also said that she viewed her role as business, not as anything against Hubert who originated the role.
"I did not feel anything about ‘replacing’ the original Aunt Viv. All actors are ‘replaceable’ according to the choices of the creators and producers of the project,” she said. “I was delighted to have a job on such a wonderful show. I had to earn my spot, and I was thrilled when it came to be.”
“When we all reunited last fall, I was grateful to finally meet Janet,” Maxwell Reid continued. “She belonged in our reunion as much as I did, and I was happy that whatever transpired before I was hired, of which I had no knowledge, had been dealt with, and life moved on.”
MC Shan is a legend and I like a lot of his music, but whenver he pops up these days, he usually sounds angry and better. He's said some things about FP in the past that annoyed me because he claims to be friends with him. He appeared in the "So Fresh" music video. He seems like he'd be hella annoying to meet in person.
MC Shan Slams Public Enemy, Salt-n-Pepa, DJ Jazzy Jeff & Slick Rick For Grammys AppearanceBy: AllHipHop StaffCategory: NewsFebruary 11, 2023On Thursday (February 9), the Juice Crew alum re-shared the throwback photo of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Public Enemy, Salt-n-Pepa, Slick Rick and Kid-n-Play to Instagram and wasn’t exactly in a celebratory mood.
The 65th Annual Grammy Awards featured a special segment celebrating 50 years of Hip-Hop. Executive produced by Questlove, the 13-minute performance boasted appearances from Public Enemy, Run-DMC, Too $hort, Queen Latifah and many more. While it was certainly a highlight of the exhaustive four-hour ceremony, some people had a problem with it. MC Shan, in particular, called out several of the performers for their perceived hypocrisy.
On Thursday (February 9), the Juice Crew alum re-shared a throwback photo of DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Public Enemy, Salt-n-Pepa, Slick Rick and Kid-n-Play to Instagram. In the caption, he pointed out they initially boycotted the Grammys in 1989 after the Recording Academy refused to televise the rap categories.
“IF YOU SAW ONE OF THESE ARTIST AT THE GRAMMY THEY SELL OUT,” he wrote in all caps. “I TOLD YALL THEY WOULDNT EVEN LET US IN THE DOOR iN 89. BUT NOW THE GRAMMYS IS THE S###. F### YOU, YOU SELL OUT. THAT WAS OUR BLOOD ON THE GROUND THAT YOU SO CASUALLY PASSED ON YOUR WAY IN. SO F### YOU.”
Shan, who appeared angry about the entire situation, insisted he wasn’t upset. He continued: “NO IM NOT MAD THEY AINT CALL ME THEY WOULDA BEEN MAD F### A GOOD LOOK WHERE THE CHECK …ALL THE N-GGAS THAT GOT BIG MONEY WENT ON LAST KALID TO RICH JAY TO RICH FOR A GOOD LOOK SO YOU KNOW THEY BUST THEY HEAD ….LOLOL.”
The rap categories were introduced at the 31st Annual Grammy Awards. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were nominated (and won) the first-ever rap Grammy for “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” But DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith decided not to attend.
“We chose to boycott,” he said at the time. “You go to school for 12 years, they give you your diploma, and they deny you that walk down the aisle.”
Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Flavor Flav famously didn’t attend either. They’d already made up their minds about the Recording Academy. As Chuck rapped on the 1988 single “Terminator X to the Edge of Panic,” “Who gives a f### about a g###### Grammy?”
Despite the Grammys’ complicated relationship with Hip-Hop, its 50th anniversary celebration was enough to appease the purists and welcome the next generation.
This is so corny, so LL...and I love it. I previously saw the headlines that he was scrapping the album and got really disappointed.
LL Cool J Trolls Fans By Claiming He Won’t Drop Album With Q-TipBy: Justin IveyCategory: NewsFebruary 22, 2023Q-Tip executive produced LL Cool J’s next album, which will be the Hip-Hop legend’s first release since 2013.
LL Cool J played a trick on his social media followers.
The Hip-Hop legend made fans think he scrapped his comeback album on Wednesday morning (February 22). LL Cool J posted a series of since-deleted tweets saying he won’t drop the project, which was executive produced by Q-Tip.
“I’m really trying to figure this album out,” he wrote. “SMH. Just not feeling like this album is worthy of being released. I tried.”
He added, “Not dropping it.”
LL Cool J continued to troll fans on Wednesday afternoon. He posted a video on Instagram with the following caption: “Explanation behind my choice to not release my album.”
The clip revealed it was all a ruse to hype his upcoming collaboration with Q-Tip.
“I was considering not putting the record out because it’s too f###### good!” he said with a laugh. “Q-Tip, you a genius, baby. Yo, this my favorite album I’ve ever made. I can’t wait for y’all to hear this. Date, tracklisting, coming soon.”
LL Cool J hasn’t released an album since 2013’s Authentic. Since then, he’s continued his acting career as one of the stars of the CBS series NCIS: Los Angeles. He also launched his Rock The Bells platform, which ran its first festival in 2022.
MATTHEW EISMAN/GETTY IMAGES
DE LA SOUL’S MASEO BREAKS SILENCE FOLLOWING TRUGOY THE DOVE’S DEATHby ANDY BUSTARDPublished on: Feb 21, 2023, 3:09 AM PST
De La Soul’s Maseo has broken his silence following the death of Trugoy The Dove.
Maseo, a.k.a. Plug Three, took to Instagram on Monday (February 20) to mourn the tragic passing of his long-time groupmate, who died aged 54 on February 12.
The rapper, producer and DJ took a trip down memory lane as he shared a throwback photo of De La Soul signing their first deal with Tommy Boy Records back in the late 1980s.
Producer Prince Paul, who produced the trio’s lauded first three albums, and Tommy Boy founder Tom Silverman and label president Monica Lynch can also be seen in the picture.
“This is the day we signed our contract with Tommy Boy… Much Love And Respect To Monica Lynch,” Maseo wrote in his caption.
“SUPER CLASSIC HISTORY,” DJ Premier wrote in the comments section, while A-Trak reacted with: “Wowww.” Busta Rhymes and Diamond D also offered their support and condolences.
Maseo followed up with another post, this one a close-up of a black medallion commemorating De La Soul’s seminal 1989 debut album 3 Feet High and Rising.
“Since 1988,” he wrote in the caption, celebrating his, Trugoy and Posdnuos’ 35-year run in the rap game.
“i wore mine around the bx back then,” Diamond D chimed in in the comments section, while J. Period quoted a line from De La’s song “Buddy” by writing: “BLACK MEDALLIONS. NO GOLD.”
While Posdnuos has yet to address Trugoy The Dove’s death — the cause of which remains unknown — countless Hip Hop figures have paid tribute to the beloved De La Soul lyricist, many of whom were influenced by the trailblazing trio.
“Trugoy The Dove[.] You showed us it’s ok to have fun not sad or too too deep or fight the power tho it was very much fight the power what u did so genuis,” Nas wrote on Instagram. “The group made me wish I was them. Thank You.”
“Trugoy Dave from De La Soul has gone up to be with the day of the stars with the Master,” Pharrell tweeted. “Sending love, light and positive vibrations to his family, The Soul and everyone whose lives have been touched by his existence. Oodles and Oodles and Oodles of O’s.”
Busta Rhymes shared his “disbelief” and “hurt” on his Instagram page, while Common reflected on how De La “changed” his life and his friendship with Trugoy, who he knew simply as Dave.
“The truth is he has been one of the greatest influences and inspirations in my life,” the Chicago MC penned in a heartfelt Instagram post. “I will miss you brother. You are loved beyond words and I am praying for all your family which is our family.”
Elsewhere, tributes flooded in from Prince Paul, Queen Latifah, LL COOL J, Fat Joe, Chuck D, Questlove, Black Thought, Redman, Bun B, Rapsody and many more.
Trugoy’s untimely death came just weeks before the March 3 release of De La Soul’s back catalog on streaming services, which will see critically acclaimed releases like 3 Feet High and Rising, Buhloone Mindstate and Stakes is High become available on Spotify et al. for the first time.
The group announced the news in January, revealing they had partnered with Reservoir Media and Chrysalis Records to distribute their first six albums digitally after resolving long-standing sample clearance issues and a legal dispute with their former label, Tommy Boy.
“We can’t believe this day is finally here, and we are excited to be able to share our music with fans, old and new,” De La said in a statement. “Golnar [Khosrowshahi], Rell [Lafargue], Faith [Newman] and the Reservoir team have been great partners in this entire process. We’re grateful that our relationship with them all has enabled this to happen.”
‘I Am Legend’ sequel will feature time jump, alternate ending
The original sci-fi thriller earned nearly $77 million during its opening weekend, making it one of 2007's top-grossing films.
Filmmaker Akiva Goldsman has shared plot details about the “I Am Legend” sequel starring Will Smith and Michael B. Jordan.
Goldsman tells Deadline that the follow-up to the 2007 blockbuster sci-fi thriller takes place many years after the events in the first film. Not only that, the story will follow an alternative ending, that sees Smith’s character, Dr. Robert Neville, survive, USA Today reports.Will Smith attends the “Ismael’s Ghosts (Les Fantomes d’Ismael)” screening and Opening Gala during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 17, 2017, in Cannes, France. (Photo by Matthias Nareyek/Getty Images)
“This will start a few decades later than the first,” Goldsman said of the sequel, noting that it will “trace back” to Richard Matheson’s 1954 post-apocalyptic horror novel that the original movie was based on.
“What Matheson was talking about was that man’s time on the planet as the dominant species had come to an end. That’s a really interesting thing we’re going to get to explore,” Goldsman told Deadline.
At the end of the original film, Smith’s Neville dies while attempting to create a cure that will save mankind from a deadly plague that turned people into bloodthirsty mutants known as Darkseekers. A special-edition DVD release of the film features the alternate ending in which Neville survives and co-exists among the Darkseekers“I Am Legend” earned nearly $77 million during its opening weekend, making it one of 2007’s top-grossing films. Deadline reports it grossed $585.4 million worldwide. Smith and Jordan will both co-star and co-produce the sequel.
Meanwhile, Jordan is gearing up for the release of “Creed III,” coming to theaters and IMAX on March 3. Jordan reprises his role as Adonis Creed, who faces off with a former childhood friend after he resurfaces following a lengthy prison stint.
Per the official synopsis: When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian (Jonathan Majors), resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face-off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damian — a fighter who has nothing to lose.
“Creed III” is the third installment in the beloved film franchise and co-stars Majors, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Mila Davis-Kent, Florian Munteanu and Phylicia Rashad.
The film marks Jordan’s directorial debut.
DAVE, AKA TRUGOY THE DOVE, DEAD AT 54
2/12/2023 3:05 PM PT
David Jolicoeur -- also known as Dave and Trugoy the Dove, who was one of the three founding members of De La Soul -- has died.
Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ the rapper passed away Sunday at a hospital in Maryland. No other details, including a potential cause, have been released ... but we're told his death appears to be from natural causes, and that he was battling an undisclosed illness.
De La Soul's official social accounts have yet to say anything about Dave -- ditto for the other two members and their own pages ... Kelvin Mercer (Posdnuos) and Vincent Mason (Maseo).
Dave was with DLS since the beginning, getting together in '87 and going on to crank out some of the most famous rap songs of all time. The group went on an incredible three-album run through the '90s -- with two of those being
being certified platinum and gold, respectively.
Some of their best-known tracks include ... "Me, Myself and I," "Eye Know," "The Magic Number," "Stakes Is High," "Ring Ring Ring," "Say No Go," "Breakadawn," "Oooh," "Buddy," "All Good," "Ghetto Thang," "I Am I Be," "Ego Trippin (Part 2)" and countless others.
De La Soul was unique in that they emerged in one decade, but seamlessly transitioned into another ... all while adapting their style and production to keep up with the times.
Three of their songs have been nominated for Grammys over the years, with one of those -- a smash hit collab with the Gorillaz in "Feel Good Inc." -- actually winning Best Pop Collaboration in 2006.
Their music has been hard to listen to in recent years ... for one reason or another, nobody has been able to stream their stuff on major platforms, but a deal was recently inked that'll finally allow their classic tunes to be played en masse starting next month.
I'm so mad about it that I meant to post this on the music board and ended up posting it on the movie board.
This has me mad. He sometimes talks about how he's not appreicated in Hip-Hop the way he should be. He had a place in this, and he walked away. His partner in music was part of this, and he walked away. His peers, many who have shown respect for him, were involved in this, and he walked way. This was a one-night event/commitment, and he walked away. This could have played a big part in his comeback in pop culture, and he walked away. Him and Jeff have the first Grammy for Hip-Hop. The slap didn't really bother me. This bothers me. I can only hope that the Grammy's performance sparks interest in Hip-Hop culture and music and that we see more events surrounding it and that he gets his butt in order and participates.
Questlove says Will Smith was going to make a surprise appearance during the Grammys' hip-hop tributeThe "Wild Wild West" rapper had to put the music on pause in order to film Bad Boys 4.By Emlyn TravisFebruary 05, 2023 at 10:51 PM EST
The 65th Annual Grammy Awards is celebrating 50 years of hip-hop with a star-studded tribute that very nearly included the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air himself.
Questlove, who curated the 14-minute-long celebration that aired on Sunday evening, revealed that Will Smith was originally set to make a surprise appearance during the performance but ultimately had to back out because it coincided with the filming of Bad Boys 4.
"I'll give the spoiler alert away. Will Smith was a part of the festivities tonight, but they started shooting Bad Boys 4 already this week," Questlove told Variety. "There's a lot of preliminary shots that he had to do, so we had to lose Will."Will Smith was going to perform during Questlove's hip-hop tribute at the 2023 Grammys.| CREDIT: DAVE ALLOCCA/STARPIX/SHUTTERSTOCK
The multi-hyphenate explained that he totally understood Smith's decision to put filming first. "It was a shot in the dark," he said. "He's always shooting movies. We had a lot of people and some of them have other jobs."
He continued, "There was a lot of legit reasons why we couldn't be all inclusive of some people."
In fact, the four-time Grammy winner noted that a few of the performers — including the Roots, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, and LL Cool J — all had to "leave their respective shows" in order to participate in this week's festivities. Questlove added, "It's going to be amazing."
If Smith had made an appearance at the event, it would've marked his and Questlove's first collaboration since Smith infamously slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars just minutes before Questlove won Best Documentary for his film Summer of Soul. Despite accepting the award onstage minutes afterward, Questlove has previously joked that he wasn't totally "present" when the slap happened because he had been meditating during the commercial break.
Earlier this week, Smith confirmed on social media that he and Martin Lawrence will be returning for the fourth installment of the Bad Boys franchise. "It's official, y'all!" Smith yelled. "Bad Boys for life, baby!"
The 65th Grammy Awards are airing live on CBS and Paramount+ from the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Smokey doesn't stop. I love this.
SMOKEY ROBINSON - If We Don't Have Each Other (2023)
I hear you. They've been talking about a sequel ever since the first one was in theaters. That's always the case when they have a hit on their hands. At the end of Aladdin, the Genie isn't even the Genie any more, so it would be interseting to see who they bring him back. Part of me thinks it's unecessary, but Disney typically does a good job of only doing a sequel if it's good. I loved Mary Poppins Returns, which I thought was really risky. If anything, we'll get some sort of song(s) will Will on it if this happens.
Will Smith Confirmed to Star In New Disney MoviePosted on January 24, 2023 by Andrew Boardwine4 Comments
Will Smith is set to make his return to Hollywood a little less than a year after the Oscars incident that took the world by storm.
Smith– who is known for countless blockbusters, including the Men In Black franchise, the Bad Boys franchise, The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), I Am Legend (2007), and many more– was in the headlines for the wrong reason last spring when he slapped comedian Chris Rock during The Academy Awards show after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.
The actor was given an Academy Award for his role in King Richard (2021).
After several months away from the limelight, Will Smith’s newest project, Emancipation (2022), was just recently released and the actor has been named as a nomination for the NAACP Image Award.
There have been varying opinions on the timing of when Will Smith– who has received a 10-year ban from The Academy would be welcomed back into Hollywood.
However, it seems that it will be sooner than later.Credit: ABC
The Sun is now reporting that Will Smith has been welcomed back by Disney and that one of his first movies to begin filming will be none other than Aladdin 2.
“This would be one of the first movies Will has shot since the Oscars slap and it is quite surprising, given that it will be for a kids’ film,” a movie insider said. “He has done a lot of work on himself and the consensus is that it will all be very much in the past by the time the movie is released.”Credit: Disney
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star made his Disney debut in the first Aladdin (2019) and the live-action blockbuster earned over $1 billion at the Hollywood box office.
While there were rumors that Dwayne Johnson could potentially replace Will Smith in his role as Genie, it seems that Disney wants to keep its same cast.
“The first film was a huge success so it would be silly not to make another, and it would be a real shame to have to re-cast Will over what happened,” an insider said. “So Disney is keen to stand by him and bring him back into the fold.”Credit: Universal Studios
Aladdin Director Guy Ritchie recently shared that he wanted Smith to return for the sequel, stating that he was a “perfect gentleman.”
“I’ve never met a more lovely man, and working with him was one of the most wonderful, great experiences I’ve ever had. I never saw anything other than the consummate, generous gentleman. I wouldn’t have any issue casting Will Smith in anything, because, as I say, he was just the f——ng perfect gentleman.”
On playing two separate roles in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (a one-off as Claudia in 1991, and a recurring role as Will Smith's girlfriend-turned-fiancée Lisa from 1994-1995), and her deep love for Smith in the wake of the actor’s uncharacteristic attack on Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars
"They recycled me on Fresh Prince… You know what, I think sometimes that's where you take the creative license and you're like, 'I don't have to explain s***.' Forget Claudia, you are now Lisa. Those were good old days. It was my first consistent job where I was actually working every day and learning what it meant to be on a show with three cameras versus film where there's one camera… And I just remember that Will was this energetic, goofy, funny guy that was obsessed with playing golf and sneakers. And he was just the happiest person. He was like Disneyland. Will Smith was like Disneyland during The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. And I love him and I will always love him. And he's had an incredible career and he's carried a burden for many years to try to represent what perfection looks like or achievement looks like. And I don't think that, at least when we were growing up, there was room to be human. And I think he's now able to be human and I'm just thankful and grateful for that moment in my career because it taught me a lot about comedy.
"Sometimes I'm like, 'Can you stop being so damn happy?' You cannot be this happy. But he really is. He's a joyous person. But I think we all have our moments in life where we have to reconcile things that maybe we suppress. And I think it's hard growing up in this business and being front and center every day, all day… I can go to the grocery store anytime I want to. And for the most part people are like, 'Hey Nia Long, how you doing?' No one's chasing me down the street. I still have my anonymity and I appreciate that about my career. I appreciate that. However I've managed to do that. That it's, it's the thing that allows me to stay connected to the people and to be human and not try to be this perfect being. And you know, I've had some pretty devastating moments in my life over the last couple of months and I've had to just say, 'It's all right. You'll pick yourself back up…' Oh my God, I'm about to cry. You pick yourself back up and you keep it moving.
LL Cool J plans to release new album this year: “Wait 'til you hear this MF"
Don’t call it a comeback, but LL Cool J said he’s dropping a new album this year. It will be his first project in a decade.BY KEVIN KEISE/ 01.16.2023
Don’t call it a comeback, but LL Cool J is planning to drop a new album this year. The hip hop pioneer took to Twitter for the announcement on Saturday (Jan. 14).
“I’m competing with myself on this new album,” he wrote. “Wait ’til you hear this MF. This year, B. It’s coming,” the legend continued. LL, whose last album Authentic came 10 years ago, arrived on the music scene with Def Jam and Columbia Records in the mid-’80s. His first project Radio was released in 1985 and featured 13 tracks, including three iconic singles, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio,” “Rock The Bells” and “You’ll Rock.”
He then dropped Bigger & Deffer in 1987, which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart. Three years later, he released Mama Said Knock You Out, which peaked at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 and spent 76 weeks on the charts.
The Queens native’s music career has been quite historic. Of his 13 studio albums, the first 10 went Platinum, making him the first rapper to do so. He also became a two-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist, as well as an actor, author, entrepreneur and philanthropist. In 2017, the emcee even received a Kennedy Center Honor, and four years later, was inducted into the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Along with dropping albums, LL has proved to be an outstanding actor. The entertainer, whose real name is James Todd Smith, landed blockbuster roles in films such as Charlie’s Angels, Deep Blue Sea, Any Given Sunday, Last Holiday and Halloween: H2O. He’s also graced the small screen on shows like his former hit series “In The House” and the crime-fighting drama “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
Speaking of acting, the rap legend recently asked if he should do a movie based on his life. On Jan. 12, he tweeted, “Should I do a biopic?” Many fans responded, “Yes,” and one actor revealed he would love to star in the role if the chance presented itself. REVOLT reported on Jan. 14 that Mack Wilds was interested in playing the “Luv U Better” hitmaker in an autobiography film.
Not that anyone doubted it, but Eddie did confirm he loves Will when being interviewed after his weak joke.
WILL SMITH RAPS 'JUST THE TWO OF US' WITH 10-YEAR-OLD BASS PLAYER ELLEN ALAVERDYAN
in Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince
Will Smith Raps 'Just the Two of Us' with 10-Year-Old Bass Player Ellen Alaverdyan: 'Fantastic'
will smith/instagram Will Smith and Ellen Alaverdyan
Will Smith is gettin' jiggy with it again.
The musician and actor posted a video of himself rapping his hit song "Just the Two of Us" alongside 10-year-old bass player Ellen Alaverdyan on Instagram.
The young musician — who boasts close to 200,000 followers on Instagram — regularly posts videos performing hit songs, and in January, she shared a video playing the bass line of "Just the Two of Us."
On Thursday, Smith, 54, shared an update to her video that included him rapping his 1998 hit as she played the bass.
"Wow!! @ellenplaysbass, this is FANTASTIC. You are the Sweetest!" he wrote alongside the video. He also tagged singer Jac Ross and jazz pianist Eric Lewis, asking them to "put somethin' on it" — and Ross did just that, sharing his rendition of the song later on Thursday and adding his vocals to Smith and Ellen's version.
"@willsmith THANK YOU FOR THIS MAGIC ❤️❤️❤️," Ellen captioned a repost of Smith's video, writing in a comment of his original post, "❤️❤️❤️❤️ THANK YOU WILL."
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It's been a while since Smith has performed. He was set to make his musical comeback at the Grammys last month, but had to cancel the surprise.
The Fresh Prince was originally supposed to be part of the awards' 50th anniversary of hip-hop tribute performance, Questlove — who produced the over-10-minute-long performance — told Variety. Host Trevor Noah had previously insinuated there would be a few surprise performances, but Smith had to drop out after starting to shoot Bad Boys 4.
"I'll give the spoiler alert away. Will Smith was a part of the festivities tonight, but they started shooting Bad Boys 4 this week," Questlove, 52, told Variety on the red carpet. "There were a lot of preliminary shots that he had to do, so we had to lose Will."
Smith and Martin Lawrence announced that Bad Boys 4 was officially happening on Jan 31. The franchise stars shared the news on their respective Instagram accounts, posting the same video that they each captioned, "IT'S ABOUT THAT TIME!"
The clip began with Smith recording himself as he drove to Lawrence's home, telling viewers that he was going to provide a "hint" as to what his big news was — before "Shake Ya Tailfeather" by Nelly, Diddy and Murphy Lee, from the Bad Boys II soundtrack, began playing through the speakers.
"I wish I was you not knowing what I'm about to show me," the Oscar winner told the camera.
Upon arriving at his costar's home, Smith greeted Lawrence, 57, who opened the door and asked with a smile, "It's about that time?"
After the two cheered and embraced, Smith turned the camera on them both and confirmed jubilantly, "It's about that time!"
"It's official, y'all," he continued, confirming production on the fourth film. "Bad boys for life, baby!"