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AFRICAN AMERICAN (E)

AFRICAN AMERICAN (E)

Janelle Monáe To Give Racially-Charged Disney Song A Makeover

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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

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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 ESSENCE.com.

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AFRICAN AMERICAN (E)

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

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(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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Nipsey Hussle’s Suspected Killer Eric Holder Indicted

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61st Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

Source: Steve Granitz / Getty

Eric Holder, the man who brazenly gunned down beloved rapper Nipsey Hussle in broad daylight, was indicted on six-counts of charges including, of murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm and possession of firearm by a felon.

RELATED: Nipsey Hussle’s Sister Awarded Temporary Custody Of His Daughter

While reports have suggested that Holder and Hussle had an altercation of some kind, it’s unclear if that was the case or what the motive actually was. The shooting was captured on widely broadcast surveillance video, which doesn’t make the shooter’s intent any clearer.

Holder pleaded “not guilty” to charges but the case will head straight to trial after being presented to a grand jury. Chris Darden, who famously worked on the O.J. trial, stepped down as his attorney after his family received death threats.

Holder is being held on $$6.53 million bail. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 18.

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‘Queen Sugar’ Season 4 Trailer Drops And Everybody’s Mad At…[WATCH]

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Whoo, chile. The Season 4 trailer for Queen Sugar is here and it’s making us wish the season started tomorrow! As you know, the drama of the Bordelon family has engaged us over the past three seasons as siblings Ralph Angel Bordelon (Kofi Siriboe) Charley Bordelon (Dawn Lyen Gardner) and Nova Bordelon (Rutina Wesley) try to navigate life, love, money and their Louisiana farmland.

Over the course of the show we’ve seen the siblings wrestle with personal and financial betrayal, illness, incarceration, divorce, scandal, drug abuse and death. If the response on social media is any indication, they’ve become like our extended family, reflecting some of the things that a lot of us struggle with in real life.

 

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ralph angel headass yahh we back june 12th 💪🏿

A post shared by Kof (@kofisiriboe) on May 21, 2019 at 11:31am PDT

 

Now that we’ve been blessed with the fourth season trailer, here’s what’s obvious -Nova done pissed everyone off again. As the Bordelon’s most rebellious, complicated, sibling, that’s no surprise, but it looks like the family is BIG mad at her this time, now that she’s released a book spilling all the family secrets.

Our favorite baby boy Blue (Ethan Richardson) Aunt Vi (Tina Lifford) her new husband Hollywood (Omar Dorsey) Charley’s son Micah (Nicholas Ashe) and her ex, Davis, (Timon Kyle Durrett)  are all back for the ride, as is Ralph Angel’s baby mama, Darla (Bianca Lawson), but Remy (Dondre Whitfield) seems to have been replaced in favor of Charlie’s new boo, Romero (Walter Perez), who became a series regular. Remy, we’ll miss you – or will we?  Tevin Campbell is making an appearance on the show this year, as Queen Sugar creator Ava DuVernay promised after a Twitter troll got checked when they doubted his relevance.

 

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You asked, @ava listened 🙌🏿.

A post shared by Queen Sugar (@queensugarown) on Mar 19, 2019 at 3:43pm PDT

 

Queen Sugar returns Wednesday, June 12 at 9 p.m. for 13 episodes.

Check out the trailer below and let us know…what do you think is going to happen in this new season?


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Zoe Kravitz May Be Married And Didn’t Tell Anyone

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If you were hoping to shoot your shot at Zoe Kravitz, it’s too late. Reports say the 30-year-old daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet has gotten married. She actually got married some time ago, but didn’t formally announce it. According to US Weekly, Bonet married her beau, actor Karl Glusman, who she’s been dating since 2016 and became engaged to in 2018. At the time of her engagement, a giddy Kravitz told Rolling Stone she was happy with the proposal.

Oh yeah, I’m engaged. I haven’t told anyone yet. I mean, I haven’t told the world,” she  said. “He nailed it. And I love that it wasn’t this elaborate plan in Paris. It was at home, in sweatpants.”

Since then, nobody has heard much from the couple unless you follow Glusman on Instagram, where he posts pics of Kravitz often with adoring captions.

Glusman, born in the Bronx, but raised in Portland, Oregon, doesn’t have the resume that Kravitz does, yet. His biggest role to date was in the 2015 French film “Love” billed as an “erotic drama art film” that featured “unsimulated sex.”

Hmmm, don’t we call those pornos? However, Glusman’s next two films, “Wounds” and “Greyhound” may give him a higher profile. “Wounds” a “psychological horror film” stars A-listers Armie Hammer and Dakota Johnson and ‘Greyhound,” a war film, was written by and stars Tom Hanks.

 

 

Neither has confirmed or denied the reports, which include that the couple is planning more official nuptials in France in June.

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I miss you.

A post shared by Zoë Kravitz (@zoeisabellakravitz) on Feb 7, 2019 at 6:44pm PST

 

Zoe and her dad traveled to the Bahamas recently for a Tumi luggage commercial.

PHOTO: PR Photos

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Rihanna Earns More Money Selling Makeup Than Records

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As previously reported, luxury brand group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has announced the launch of Fenty Maison, a new fashion house from singer and make-up mogul Rihanna.

The 31-year-old singer has made history for being the first woman to create an original brand at the famed luxury group. Fenty Maison is set to be a Paris-based collection of ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories, and is expected to debut in the spring of 2019, PEOPLE reports.

“Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real C.E.O. and a terrific leader,” LVMH’s chairman Bernard Arnault said in the statement. “She naturally finds her full place within LVMH. To support Rihanna to start up the Fenty Maison, we have built a talented and multicultural team supported by the Group resources. I am proud that LVMH is leading this venture and wish it will be a great success.”

With this latest venture, many fans fear she will now not have time to serve up some new music.

Blogger SandraRose writes:

The brand follows LVMH’s previous, lucrative Fenty Beauty makeup and perfume line that outperformed expectations and grossed over $562 million for the luxury brand.

The Fenty Beauty makeup line accounts for a significant slice of LVMH’s perfumes and cosmetics unit, which grossed over $6.85 billion last year.

With that level of growth and economic clout, you can see why Rihanna has no plans to go back into the studio.

Sources say Rihanna is officially done making music. Her makeup line is simply more lucrative and less physically demanding than recording and going out on tour.

Meanwhile, according to WWD sources, the Fenty Maison launch might coincide with the release of Rihanna’s ninth studio album.

After the success of their first collaborative project Fenty Beauty in 2017, Arnault said in a statement, “Everybody knows Rihanna as a wonderful singer, but through our partnership at Fenty Beauty, I discovered a true entrepreneur, a real C.E.O. and a terrific leader.”

He added, “She naturally finds her full place within LVMH. To support Rihanna to start up the Fenty Maison, we have built a talented and multicultural team supported by the Group resources.”

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Allen Hughes To Direct 5-Part Docuseries On Tupac

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(Photo: Retna)

Director Allen Hughes has received the blessing of Tupac Shakur’s estate to helm a five-part docuseries based on the late rapper’s life.

As part of the deal, Hughes (“Menace II Society”) will have full access to Pac’s released and unreleased material, Deadline reports. The announcement says the series will be “the first definitive, comprehensive project on Shakur with the full cooperation of the estate.”

Hughes worked with Pac in the early ’90s, directing a video (with his brother, Albert Hughes) for the hit “Brenda’s Got a Baby.” However, as noted by Variety, the two got into a fist fight in 1993 that resulted in the rap icon being jailed for 15 days.

Hughes discussed the assault last year during an interview with JOE TV, saying: “What the beef was over … [Shakur] experienced massive fame [at the time] because of [his role in the film ‘Juice’ and his second album, and his diet — few people know this — consisted of weed, chicken wings and Hennessey. Not a great mix! And that was it. On one level, Tupac was one of the sweetest people I ever met. He apologized in Vibe magazine [a few] months before he died. I didn’t really come to peace with it until I was done with ‘The Defiant Ones.’ ”

Tupac was fatally shot on September 7th, 1996, in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was 25 years old. His murder remains unsolved.

As noted by Complex, in a 2018 interview with The Wrap, Hughes spoke about how Pac’s estate was hesitant to clear footage for his HBO doc “The Defiant Ones,” which chronicled the lives and careers of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

“The Tupac Estate was—and I know them, they’re all old friends—but there was some stuff with him at the gun range that they were precious about,” Hughes said, when asked which footage was the hardest to obtain. “My original cut is not the way it [eventually aired]. The family and the estate were really sensitive about taking things out of context when it came to weapons in his hands, you know? He was at a shooting range and it was pretty explosive in the original cut, and they were very, very, very adamant that we not do it that way.”

Hughes will executive produce the untitled Tupac series with Lasse Järvi and Charles D. King. Tom Pellegrini will produce.

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Scripted Miniseries In The Works Based On Tiger Woods’ Best-Selling Biography

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Golfing champ Tiger Woods is receiving the scripted miniseries treatment just one month after he bagged his fifth Masters win, Deadline reports.

Woods’ life and career will be chronicled in the scripted miniseries that is currently in development and based on the New York Times best-seller “Tiger Woods,” co-authored by Jeff Benedict.

The book is based on more than 250 interviews with family, friends and associates and explores the rise and fall of the golf legend, according to Complex.

Benedict has teamed with Wheelhouse Entertainment to bring the project to life and he called the partnership a “dream.”

“[…] When I picked up Tiger Woods I saw what a true force Jeff really is—and a compelling way to bring the Tiger Woods story to life as one of the most moving in sports history,” Wheelhouse CEO Brent Montgomery told Deadline. “IP is becoming more important than ever before and to partner with a writer of Jeff’s caliber – someone who nails perfectly the experience and emotion behind epic people and their stories – is a huge win for Wheelhouse. It’s an enormously rich pool from which to create exciting projects in and around sports, and other high-intensity environments. We are ecstatic to be in the Jeff Benedict business.”

Benedict has written numerous sports titles and under his deal with Wheelhouse, they will reportedly develop a range of scripted and unscripted film and television projects based on his works.

“As a rabid sports fan, I had seen Jeff’s byline and read much of his work, always impressed by his insights and access into some pretty rarefied worlds,” Montgomery said.

Benedict added: “As a journalist, I let stories lead me on a journey. One of the thrills of being a writer is encountering the unexpected along the way. Even after doing this for over 20 years, I still get a charge out of meeting new people whose narratives surprise and inspire me. That’s exactly what happened when I met Brent and the Wheelhouse team. They are entrepreneurs on a mission to build audio and visual platforms for storytellers and creators. The opportunity to partner with them is a writer’s dream. I am eager to see where this new story and professional chapter takes us both.”

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Nipsey Hussle’s Sister Retains Temporary Custody Of His Daughter

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The month-long guardianship fight over Nipsey Hussle’s 10-year-old daughter Emani has a new development, according to TMZ.

After filing for guardianship papers for her niece in April, Hussle’s sister Samantha Smith was awarded temporary custody on Monday. The ruling comes after Smith was denied temporary custody in late April.

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I am my Brothers keeper 🙏🏾

A post shared by I heal (@babyyhairz) on May 21, 2019 at 7:49am PDT

Smith and Emani’s mother, Tanisha Foster, appeared in court, where a judge decided that Emani would remain with Smith until the next hearing which is scheduled in July.

RELATED: Nipsey Hussle’s Sister Files For Custody Of His Daughter 

Foster was not happy with the decision and shared her thoughts with TMZ cameras while leaving the courtroom.

“I’m pissed off. God bless,” Foster said.

Foster’s lawyer, Larry Lewellyn, told the outlet that she was working to secure a visitation schedule so that Foster could see her daughter on a regular basis.

The news comes days after Los Angeles police officials issued a warrant for Foster after she failed to appear in court over a pending DUI 2017 charge.

Unfortunately the warrant did not help Foster combat allegations from Hussle’s family who claim Foster is not fit to take care of Emani.

In her original petition to the court Smith wrote that by filing for guardianship, she wanted to “ensure the continued stability for Emani and ensure that she will be able to maintain her current and ongoing relationship.”

The filing was backed by Hussle’s older brother Samiel “Black Samm” Asghedom, and father, Dawit Asghedom.

Monday’s hearing was scheduled as a follow-up from last week when Foster shed tears after seeing her daughter, who she reportedly had not seen in months. The presiding judge gave the two over 20 minutes together to  reconnect.

Hussle and Foster dated for several years and have one child together. Foster also has two other children from another relationship. At the time of his death, Hussle was in a five-year relationship with actress Lauren London, whom he shares a two-year old son, Kross.

Hussle’s daughter has been living with his family since his untimely death where he was shot and killed outside of his L.A. based store, The Marathon, on March 31.

PHOTO: AP


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