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Janelle Monáe To Give Racially-Charged Disney Song A Makeover


Grammy winner Janelle Monae is lending her voice to Disney’s live-action “Lady and the Tramp” reboot,according to Variety, in addition contributing new music.

The singer is working with Wondaland collective members Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Roman GianArthur on a new interpretation of “The Siamese Cat Song,” originally written and performed by Peggy Lee.

The track and the two conniving Siamese cats who sing the lyrics, Si and Am, have long been considered to racist.

“Si and Am move in perfect symmetry; they have no individuality; their innocent blue eyes bend into a sinister glare as they cave at the slant,” wrote Marcus Hunter in a 2013 Flavorwire article. “They are jaundiced and sly; sick and feral; domesticated, though nevertheless propelled by their mischievous, impish nature to deceive and intimidate.”

“Lady & the Tramp” centers on “an upper-middle-class American cocker spaniel named Lady who meets a streetsmart, downtown stray mongrel called the Tramp [as they] embark on many romantic adventures”

Monae will perform two original songs for the film, working on different take for the cats, who will receive a makeover for new film.

“We’re dealing with Wondaland, her team of incredibly creative writers and producers that she works with. So our director has engaged with her in terms of what the storytelling [of] the song needs to be,” Kaylin Frank, a vice president in Creative Music and Soundtracks at Disney, said at the recent MUSEXPO Creative Summit in Burbank, Calif.

“Lady & the Tramp” will arrive to the Disney+ streaming service on November 12, 2019, with Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux in the title roles.

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Alicia Keys Talks Peace, Purpose And Understanding For Essence’s June ‘Travel And Escapes’ Issue


ESSENCE sits down with 15-time Grammy Award-winning artist, songwriter and record producer Alicia Keys for its June issue cover story, Into The Light.

With new music and a book on the way, Keys chats with ESSENCE’s “Yes, Girl” podcast hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn for an unfiltered conversation about her journey, the way husband Swizz Beatz loves her and the joy she’s constantly discovering.

Keys exudes her luminous natural beauty 17 years after her first ESSENCE cover. Since that time, she has achieved global success and inspired her audience along the way. Fans have witnessed her evolution as a wife, a mother of a blended family, philanthropist and activist. The secret to her abundant joy? Bring good vibes only. Keys tells ESSENCE:

“I think we have to come to an understanding that it’s okay to state what you need and state your piece and be clear, because if you don’t know what you need and you’re not able to say it, you’ll never get it. That’s been a deep, beautiful process for me…I just have always been able to be what I believe is just cool, man, because everything doesn’t have to be so damn dramatic all the time either. Things can just be cool. So I’m blessed for that…”

Photographed by J.D. Barnes and styled by ESSENCE Fashion Director Marielle Bobo, Keys is resplendent in a photo spread featuring her in designers such as Lanvin, Roland Mouret, Rachel Comey, The Row and more.

The full conversation between Keys and the podcast hosts will also be featured on ESSENCE’s Yes! Girl podcast, available for streaming and download on iTunesSpotify and Google. The June issue of ESSENCE hits newsstands on Friday. For more on this month’s cover story, visit

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Boxer Sues Jay-Z And Roc Nation Sports Over Brain Injury Suffered In The Ring


(Photo by Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic)

Retired boxer Daniel Franco is suing JAY-Z and Roc Nation over brain injuries he sustained in 2017, two years after he allegedly signed to Roc Nation Sports with a 10-0-3 record, Complex reports.

Franco claims the management company forced him to participate in three fights within a 79-day period, despite his lack of preparation.

According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Franco claims he won his first five fights after signing with Roc Nation. But when it came to a fight scheduled for March 23, 2017, he got sick with the flu leading up to the big event and couldn’t hit the gym for three-week to train properly.

Franco claims that he and his father informed Roc Nation he was too sick to perform and suggested the fight be cancelled or postponed, but Roc Nation wasn’t trying to hear that.

He would go on to lose that fight by TKO.

Franco reportedly had another fight scheduled for May 12, 2017 and again on June 10, 2017. He claims in the court docs that he entered the third fight in no condition for battle and did not receive medical clearance beforehand. He believes he was suffering from two skull fractures and a brain bleed going into the fight.

Franco was reportedly knocked out in the eighth round and says he suffered “a devastating brain hemorrhage” — resulting in a coma and he had to undergo surgery.

via The Blast:

Back in 2017, Franco told The Blast his family was first told Roc Nation would help with the medical bills but claims it was a false promise.

The 25-year-old, who still has slurred speech and must wear a protective helmet as a result of his injury, says Roc Nation even asked him to take down a GoFundMe page his family set up, and told him they “would figure it all out,” but never followed up or called him back.  He said that was the only time he has heard from them.

Franco says Roc Nation Sports has not “been true to their word, and they haven’t been great people.”

Adding, “They left me out there to dry.”

He’s suing Roc Nation Sports, Live Nation and Jay-Z for negligence, seeking unspecified damages.

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'Game of Thrones' Review


Game of Thrones, possibly the most epic television series ever created, has now finally come to an end.

HBO never wanted to kill the cash cow that came about thanks to George RR. Martin’s wonderful prose, but showrunners David Benioff and D.B Weiss were desperate to move on to other things.

In the final two seasons, it was clear that the writers were looking for a quick escape, and a lot of the storytelling felt forced and rushed.

However, they still deserve credit for delivering a satisfying end to an overall brilliant series.

Game of Thrones

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