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JumpinJack AJ

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  1. Speech of Arrested Develoment was recently on Questlove's podcast. If you love Arrested Development or Hip-Hop, you should enjoy the whole thing, but this board will specifally love the part between 43:00 and 45:55. Speech talks about his first group, A-Tack, and how, with the help of the his father's club, they got to open for acts like JJ+FP...or did they?
  2. 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 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.
  3. I wouldn't consider this scintilating journalism, but... https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-12039103/Will-Smith-wears-bow-tie-films-Bad-Boys-4-Atlanta.html?ito=social-facebook-celeb&fbclid=IwAR0V0e1NaHHFZvcBKdy1HixzCsrwY4ikLgst13_YrXrQmQq7XUJqp5lCYE0 Will Smith wears a bow tie as he is seen in character as Detective Mike Lowrey while he films Bad Boys 4 in Atlanta By SAM JOSEPH SEMON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM 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 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 film First 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 +6 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.
  4. 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 By: Mike WinslowCategory: NewsApril 29, 2023 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.
  5. 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. BY MYA ABRAHAM APRIL 26, 2023 5:57PM 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. https://www.vibe.com/news/national/pras-michel-fugees-guilty-federal-conspiracy-trial-1234752101/?fbclid=IwAR1j7drPCoxdwGHddNmGJpU3yubM7NbVptkWI-R_827OUfHM2kvZVshrJnM
  6. 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.
  7. 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. MUSIC 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 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 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 Illtown Sluggaz and Next Talk About Their 'Next By Nature' Album and Spike Lee Directed 'Hip-Hop Hooray' Video 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.
  8. https://afrotech.com/jazzy-jeff-recalls-creating-the-theme-song-in-just-15-minutes?item=7&fbclid=IwAR0JlUDzRHGAc3SdRWULmvMz1wvLlOJq5vnwuTNyvISf9RJxYKJUzyqd45I 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. 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. “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.
  9. 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 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.
  10. 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 MUSIC - 37 MINS AGO JAELANI TURNER-WILLIAMSJaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with… 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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. 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 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. Bankruptcy 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 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.
  13. https://albumism.com/features/dj-jazzy-jeff-and-the-fresh-prince-hes-the-dj-im-the-rapper-album-anniversary?fbclid=IwAR3vXTbyBWfnmFJy0-GfrVlUvnBb4TLc1BjrF2CI77q3ZbZn9XLXhI-RptA DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s ‘He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper’ Turns 35 | Album Anniversary March 28, 2023 Jesse Ducker Happy 35th Anniversary to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s second studio album He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper, originally released March 29, 1988. In 2023, there are a lot of hip-hop heads in their mid to late forties. It’s safe to say that a good portion of them owe at least part of their fandom to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I’d hazard to guess that for many, He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper or just “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” was their proverbial gateway into hip-hop fandom. Thirty-five years after their sophomore effort dropped, Philadelphia born and raised Will Smith and Jeff Townes are institutions of American Culture. Will Smith is, of course, Will Smith: a man who, until about a year ago, was one of the most universally beloved movie stars/celebrities on the planet. Jazzy Jeff is an innovative DJ and producer, an elder statesman behind the turntables and acclaimed for his abilities behind the boards. He’s also the credited inventor of the Transformer Scratch, and the man who gave the popular DJ software Serato its legitimacy. If you want to track the trail that’s led to hip-hop music gaining global acceptance, then the arrival of Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince are essential signposts. Back in 1988, hip-hop hadn’t seen someone like the Fresh Prince. LL Cool J was a natural-born celebrity. Slick Rick was a gifted storyteller. Kid ‘n Play created fun, family-friendly hip-hop. However, the Fresh Prince combined all of those elements, and infused them with his undeniable charm and charisma. Throughout He’s the DJ, the Fresh Prince carries himself as a leading man and radiates the type of charisma that makes him come across as the cool best friend that everyone wants to have. The duo’s debut Rock the House (1986) was originally released through Word Up Records, a Philadelphia-based label run by the Goodman family. The album earned both local and national acclaim and solid record sales, with the duo receiving attention for their single “Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble.” The song was an entertaining story rap about the Fresh Prince’s humorous but unfortunate encounters with the opposite sex. But the album also featured tracks like “The Magnificent Jazzy Jeff,” a boisterous dedication to the DJ, and the title track, an entertaining team-up between the Fresh Prince and Ready Rock C a.k.a. The Human LinnDrum a.k.a. the beat-box for the duo. As a whole, Rock the House was pretty unpolished, but the crew’s potential was apparent. After releasing Rock the House, Jazzy Jeff won the “Battle For DJ Supremacy” at the 1986 New Music Seminar. The win, coupled with the solid success of Rock the House brought them to the attention of Jive Records. The label signed the duo, re-released Rock the House in 1987, and they began to put together what would become He’s the DJ. Portions of it were recorded at Studio 4 in Philadelphia, under the guidance of engineer Joe Nicolo (later the founder of Ruffhouse Records). The rest of the album was recorded at Battery Studios in London, at the behest of Jive and its parent company Zomba. There, the Fresh Prince and Jeff worked with Pete Q. Harris and Bryan “Chuck” New, the studio’s in-house producer and engineer, respectively. Hip-hop’s first double album, He’s the DJ was in some way conceived as two separate albums: One would focus on the Fresh Prince, the other on Jazzy Jeff. With the finished project, it roughly breaks down with the first side being the Fresh Prince side and the B-side being Jeff’s, though there is some bleed through. As detailed in Brian Coleman’s Check the Technique 2, much of the DJ oriented material was recorded in Philly with Nicolo, along with a few of the more narratively oriented songs. When in London, the pair recorded more musically complex material, with Jeff and Smith collaborating with Harris and New to flesh out and refine some of their ideas, both lyrically and musically. Originally running 18 tracks and 85 minutes long, CD and digital releases of He’s the DJ were subsequently trimmed for time. In order to get to a 72-minute run-time, these later pressings shorten many of the DJ oriented songs by a minute or two, as well as eliminate “A Special Announcement” (an acapella shout-out) completely. Watch the Official Videos: He’s the DJ might have gone Triple Platinum off the strength of songs like “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” but there was something on the project for fans of all stripes. It’s an overall successful endeavor, mixing commercially accessible material with straight-ahead rugged tracks that any hardcore head would be happy to bump. The duo’s legend was of course built on “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” one of the most well-known hip-hop songs of all time. The track exploded in the spring of 1988 and was a ubiquitous pop culture fixture for years to come. The pair first recorded a version of the song with Nicolo in Philly, but it was refined and reworked into its current form during their London recording sessions. Both in terms of structure and content, it wasn’t all that different to “Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble” or “Just One of Those Days” from Rock the House. However, “Parents Just Don’t Understand” is just a bit more amiable in a way that made it universally accepted. Listening to it 35 years later, you can still hear why it was so popular at the time. Smith glows as he spins what are two easily relatable tales that tap into evergreen adolescent fears: wearing wack gear to school and getting caught by the police joyriding in your parents’ car (Porsche or not). Each of the two verses unfold like an episode of a Friday night 1980s sitcom or a big-screen summer teen comedy. Smith, turning on his charm full blast, sounds every bit of a movie star on record. The video for the song was also integral to its success, getting regular play on MTV, and also establishing Smith’s soon-to-be leading man credentials. The single was certified Gold, and the duo won the first rap-related GRAMMY award for the song, as it earned an award for Best Rap Performance in 1989. The second single from the album, “Nightmare on My Street,” was enthralling in different way than “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” Here, Smith tells of a slightly harrowing (but still PG-rated) encounter with horror icon Freddy Krueger, maintaining the creepy texture while utilizing his goofy sense of humor. Jeff replays the ominous and memorable theme to the franchise, further adding to the atmosphere. The duo and Jive had pitched the song to New Line Cinema as a tie-in for the release of Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, but the studio turned them down, opting to go with the Fat Boys instead. As someone who owned the Fat Boys’ Coming Back Hard Again (1988) and thus heard the song, “Nightmare on My Street” would have been a better choice. Jeff maintains that if they had been able to release a video for the song, He’s the DJ would have sold 10 million copies. It wasn’t for lack of trying, as Jive bankrolled a big budget video for “Nightmare,” only to have it shelved due to legal issues with New Line. The film studio objected to Jeff and Prince using the Freddy Krueger character without their authorization and sued both them and Jive. You can read a very detailed breakdown of how it unfolded in Check the Technique Vol 2. It should be noted that the success of the album’s first two singles led to the duo re-recording and re-releasing “Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble.” This version’s production was a little bit cleaner and slicker, adding a third verse and altering some of the lyrics for timeliness and to eliminate somewhat questionable content. They also recorded a video, attempting to piggy-back off of the “Parents Just Don’t Understand” phenomenon. “Brand New Funk,” which can be considered the album’s third single, is one of the best tracks on He’s the DJ. The song could technically be considered the first single, since it was released as a radio only promo before He’s the DJ dropped. Later it was included on the B-side of the “Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble” re-recording. Regardless, it’s the song that people (including both the Fresh Prince and Jeff themselves) cite in order to establish that the pair made serious hip-hop music. And they’re correct, as the track can stand shoulder to shoulder with many of the best hip-hop singles of 1988. The song is a pure boom-bap exhibition, with the Fresh Prince kicking raw rhymes with an often complex and tongue-twisting delivery. Jeff holds up his end, crafting a rollicking, head-nodding track, composed of portions of Pleasure’s “Bouncy Lady,” along with various screams and yelps from both James Brown and Ready Rock C doing his best impression of the Godfather. Jeff also gets busy on the turntables, providing the earliest of many scratch exhibitions throughout the album. When the single was eventually released, it was a live version of the record. According to Jeff, it was actually recorded at a soundcheck before a show in Long Island. This newer version includes an extra intro verse from Smith. Adding a new verse made sense, as without it, there really aren’t a lot of lyrics on the original version. Some of the best songs on He’s the DJ are the album cuts. “Here We Go Again” is particularly strong, serving as a belated introduction to the project. Smith updates fans on the duo’s state of affairs and hypes up the album’s release, conveying a mix of joy and earnestness, without being too self-serious. The beat is integral to the track’s success, as Smith flows over a sample from Bob James’ “Westchester Lady” and a replayed bassline by Jeff. As He’s the DJ’s narrative endeavors go, “Charlie Mack (First Out the Limo)” is the most entertaining. The song is the duo’s dedication to Charlie Alston, their 6’7,” 290-pound bodyguard, respected both in Philadelphia and by hip-hop heavyweights. Smith describes Alston as some sort of combination of John Henry and Saturday Night Live’s Bill Brasky, a man who “once killed a man ‘cause he would not let go of his Eggo” and who will leave you “decapitated, crushed in the dust.” The entertaining “As We Go” allows every member of the crew to demonstrate their talents. The centerpiece is of course the Fresh Prince kicking both braggadocio and light but enjoyable story raps over a beat that mixes the Honey Drippers’ “Impeach the President” and The Headhunters’ “God Made Me Funky.” The song also features a lengthy breakdown for Jeff to deliver some turntable magic and Ready Rock C to provide a beat-box solo. Even the songs that Jeff said he considers “filler” have value to the album. “Time to Chill” is a fairly lightweight endeavor, as the Fresh Prince spends four verses extolling the smoothness of the Jazzy Jeff-produced groove. I cannot front: the beat, built on a sublime sample of George Benson’s “Breezin,’” successfully carries the song. Meanwhile, “Let’s Get Busy, Baby” is an innocuous entry, as Smith kicks PG-rated game to the ladies over a replay of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke.” He’s the DJ’s Jazzy Jeff instrumental contributions work very well. “DJ on the Wheels” and “Jazzy’s in the House” are two of the best DJ tracks of the late 1980s-era, with Jeff flexing his skills behind the turntables effortlessly. “Hip-Hop Dancers Theme” features Jeff laying down his precise scratches over a loop of Bob James’ “Take Me to the Mardi Gras.” The song served as the introduction to the pair’s live show, where their dancers would hit the stage to get the crowd hyped up. One of the Fresh Prince’s unheralded talents was his ability to work in tandem with Jazzy Jeff, acting as his master of ceremonies in the more traditional sense of the term. Throughout He’s the DJ, he narrates some of Jeff’s DJ-centric songs, effectively explaining to the listener the techniques that Jeff is executing. Smith riffs his way through “Rhythm Trax – House Party Style,” an electro-based track, helping entertain the listener as Jeff scratches. In this case, it sounds as if Smith recorded his vocals after the rest of the song was completed. The album’s title track is one of the most underappreciated songs on the project. It sounds like an early to mid-1980s off-the-cuff skills demonstration, as the Fresh Prince delivers a single lengthy, fast-paced verse, while Jeff damn near melts the vinyl with his hands and scratches. The Fresh Prince is at his most ferocious, moving like a force of nature over well-used drum breaks. “I'll drop kick a hurricane, body-slam a tidal wave,” he raps. “Walk through a tornado or a volcano / But I’ll be okay though / And here’s some more info that you rappers should know.” He’s the DJ also features a pair of tracks where Ready Rock C plays a central role. Both “My Buddy” and “Human Video Game” prominently feature Ready Rock’s talents, with each based on routines that he and Smith performed live on stage before they were ever recorded at the studio. The former features Ready Rock mimicking the drum track and guitar from the previously used “Impeach the President,” as Smith heralds his beat-box skills and recounts how the two eliminated nine different crews in one single battle. “Human Video Game” is the engaging album closer, as Smith humorously recounts how the human LinnDrum helped him kick a clearly fictional video game addiction. Mostly the track is designed to showcase Ready Rock’s ability to imitate arcade games, most prominently Donkey Kong. This time Jeff assists with proceedings, laying a basic musical backdrop to accompany the beat box. “Human Video Game” is the song that suffers the most from the aforementioned edits for time, as later versions of the song eliminate Ready Rock “playing” Pac-Man. These days, we can and do have lengthy discussions about Smith’s impact and legacy without ever considering that he was the guy who rapped on He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper. Similarly, Jeff’s contributions to hip-hop culture have gone far beyond his role on this project. But this album enabled both of them to reach what would have once been unimaginable heights three-and-a-half decades ago. It’s an excellent step on what’s been a complicated journey, and one that gave us fans another reason to love hip-hop.
  14. Will Smith Raps 'Just the Two of Us' with 10-Year-Old Bass Player Ellen Alaverdyan: 'Fantastic' Tracey Harrington McCoy Fri, March 10, 2023 at 10:21 AM EST will smith, Ellen Alaverdyan 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." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 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!" https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/smith-raps-just-two-us-152104091.html?ncid=facebook_yahooenter_yxwbqqk7sto&fbclid=IwAR2epogn5BwIjzoY5oeEmouchda_MnHKTb5M1aRWiF6DpNFliGMF3hNmpCM
  15. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-reviews/chris-rock-selective-outrage-review-netflix-live-will-smith-1235341301/ ‘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 FIENBERG MARCH 4, 2023 10:56PM Chris Rock during his live Netflix special, 'Selective Outrage' COURTESY OF KIRILL BICHUTSKY/NETFLIX One 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.”
  16. 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 8:27PM Chris Rock during his live Netflix special, 'Selective Outrage' COURTESY OF KIRILL BICHUTSKY/NETFLIX It 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. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/chris-rock-will-smith-oscars-slap-netflix-live-stand-up-special-1235341227/
  17. https://www.businessinsider.com/fresh-prince-bel-air-short-peacock-tv-show-will-smith-2023-3?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=entertainment-sf&fbclid=IwAR3Ay8IDP37qfkSoche1D7r2iPEfFDQ18jj4HEHzKFK6itH3BiK8as0uw74 I was promised a part in the 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' remake — instead I left LA jobless and in debt Eboni Boykin-Patterson Mar 2, 2023, 5:05 AM Rufus Burns (left) met DJ Jazzy Jeff at a Kansas City festival in 2019 after the viral "Bel-Air" short film dropped. Jeff played Jazz in "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" sitcom, and Burns played Jazz in the short. Courtesy of Rufus Burns 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. Top editors give you the stories you want — delivered right to your inbox each weekday. 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. Rufus Burns played Jazz in the viral "Bel-Air" short film. Morgan Cooper/Vimeo 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. Jordan L. Jones was cast to play Jazz in the "Bel-Air" series. Peacock/Contributor/Getty Images 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 eboykinpatterson@insider.com.
  18. 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. https://www.billboard.com/music/chart-beat/mariah-carey-its-a-wrap-hot-rb-songs-chart-tiktok-1235278892/?fbclid=IwAR25XGECdHBTks6epQu845mNx9gGBlQiDZlvxvKKxpPhkYaaaJAjhUwrjNY 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 Anderson 03/2/2023 Mariah 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.) 03/02/2023 “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.
  19. '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 LA he 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.' https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-11810105/Chris-Rock-speaks-time-infamous-Smith-Oscars-slap-new-Netflix-special.html?ito=social-facebook&fbclid=IwAR0vJfeFcZhX-TSseRWmgF41S7qrBudR54NY5tDGUj5cNVCG42w8mfEfxXY
  20. “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. Ice T performing live with Body Count in 2019. CREDIT: Gina Wetzler/Redferns “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’. https://www.nme.com/news/music/ice-t-reflects-on-mid-2000s-paradigm-shift-in-hip-hop-music-goofy-3404579?fbclid=IwAR23vW7NiRFKHiVFmfRc6Ee-NTvhDdLno8sserSij9BkwdDeKyYYdhHUuV8
  21. The title is a bit misleading. She wasn't offered the role before Janet. She just passed up the opportunity to audition.
  22. 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 Viv Monique 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.”
  23. When I saw he won, I was so happy. It's like one less brick taken away from the drama of last year.
  24. 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.
  25. MC Shan Slams Public Enemy, Salt-n-Pepa, DJ Jazzy Jeff & Slick Rick For Grammys Appearance By: AllHipHop StaffCategory: NewsFebruary 11, 2023 On 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. https://allhiphop.com/news/mc-shan-slams-public-enemy-salt-n-pepa-dj-jazzy-jeff-slick-rick-for-grammys-appearance/?fbclid=IwAR1Ngj5c2FsTK2TnXeD2Dn9O0PwcuHwuNSi9i6IxJL7SfUAV7VGzSRXvBNE
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