Category Archives: Entertainment News

‘God’s Long Summer:’ Common to produce new biopic about notable activist Fannie Lou Hamer

Micah Green/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesRapper Common will officially give civil and voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer her flowers through an upcoming biopic. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Common is set to produce God’s Long Summer, a feature film that “follows Hamer’s rise from oppressive plantation sharecropping system in 1962 Mississippi, where at age 44, she fought against the Southern political establishment and systemic racism.”

Prior to her death in 1977, Hamer was one of the most powerful voices of the civil and voting rights movement, who fought for greater opportunities for African-Americans.

“Fannie Lou Hamer is a revolutionary figure we should all know,” says Common. “Her story and impact is evidence that Black history is American history. We have all benefited from her work and dedication. I feel blessed to be working with this incredible group of producers to bring this story to the screen.”

Peter J. Meli wrote the screenplay based on Charles Marsh‘s book, God’s Long Summer, and Hamer’s 1967 autobiography, To Praise Our Bridges. 

The project’s synopsis states: “She fought against the Southern political establishment, systemic racism and misogyny by exercising her right to vote and fighting for the rights of others. Labeled as plain spoken and unfit to lead the movement, Hamer captivated the nation with her powerful voice, sheer will, and faith in her fight against leaders at the highest levels of state and federal government and within the Civil Rights Movement itself to help secure passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”

Common became the first rapper to earn an Emmy, an Oscar and a Grammy award in 2017, after writing original music for the Netflix documentary, 13th. Common has also starred in films such asSelma, Just Wright, and Suicide Squad.

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Check out new music from YG, Big Sean, and the late Pop Smoke

Def Jam RecordingsHere’s new music and lyric videos for the soundtracks of two highly-anticipated films coming to screens near you.

YG and Big Sean have joined forces for their new collaboration, “Go Big,” from the soundtrack to Eddie Murphy‘s upcoming comedy film, Coming 2 America. 

The “Big Bank” collaborators exchange bars about  cars, clothes, and maximizing their bank accounts.

“Ayy, get a new bag every week (Every week) I be at the bank like Weezy (Weezy) “Withdraw this, please” (Please), sheesh,” raps YG, while Big Sean spits about the things he likes.  

“I like views of oceans, free time don’t make no sense / Buyin’ a foreign with Pesos, I’m too real can’t play roles / Just payrolls, Jeff Bezos, and my [woman] co-CEO / That’s bae goal,” Sean raps. 

The track’s blaring horns are fitting for the royal theme of Coming 2 America, the follow-up to the 1988 classic. It arrives March 5th on Amazon Prime.

“Go Big” follows Bobby Sessions and Megan Thee Stallion’s “I’m a King,” which will also be featuring on the Coming 2 America soundtrack.

Eddie Huang‘s film, Boogie,also hits theaters March 5th. The film’s soundtrack will feature a posthumous track from the late Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke. “AP” is drill record comprised of Pop’s signature grit over a heavy-base beat.  “AP, spicy I bust a check in my Nikes / Am I a killer? Might be / Two tone, icy,” raps Pop.

Boogie also marks Pop’s acting debut as he portrays the role of Monk and was filmed prior to the late rapper’s death February 2020. The “Woo” rapper was shot and killed during a home invasion in Hollywood Hills, where he was staying.

(Videos contains uncensored profanity.)

 

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Bobby Shmurda talks prison release and new music in ‘GQ’ profile

Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Governors BallBobby Shmurda is happy to be home following his release from prison Tuesday after serving almost seven years for gang-related and weapons charges.

The Brooklyn rapper documented his first day out in a new GQ profile, including being picked up by Quavo at New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility in a private jet and a coming home celebration party with his family. 

From an apartment overlooking the Hudson River, Bobby spoke with Fraizer Tharpe about what’s next for his career, learning to break his prison mentality and being able to shower at his own leisure.  

“How long I got in the shower?” said Bobby to one of his boys in the room, who responded, “Yo, you not inside anymore! You gotta fix your language.” Another said, “Take your time, man…wash.”

Rapper Rowdy Rebel, who was released last December, was also in attendance. Bobby and Rowdy were among the GS9 crew members who were arrested during a 2014 raid. The name GS9 is a reference to their neighborhood in East Flatbush, according to Bobby and his crew. 

“Every time he called my phone, I picked up,” said Quavo, who teased a Shmurda feature on Migos‘ forthcoming album, Culture III: The Next Chapter. “Him and Rowdy would call, and whatever they needed, I was there for them.”

Bobby went to jail months after introducing his famous shmoney dance from his hit record, “Hot [Boy].” Now, the 26-year-old has plans on “going legit” and entering the real estate industry.

“I only want to talk about real estate now. Ask anybody,” he said. “Y’all don’t like to see young, Black rich [men]. So, I’m going to get real rich on y’all.”

Bobby also said he “has something cooking,” in terms of new solo music.

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

In honor of her 50th birthday, here are Erykah Badu’s highest-charting albums

Badu World Market

Today, the queen of Neo-soul music Erykah Badu celebrates her 50th trip around the sun. Known for her eccentric essence and soothing voice, Badu has released five solo albums and a number of notable collaborations with The Roots, Common, Teyana Taylor, Janelle Monáe, Outkast and more since the late nineties. 

In honor of her 50th birthday, here are Erykah Badu’s highest-charting releases on the all-genre Billboard 200 Albums chart. 

Her 1997 debut, Baduizm, peaked at #2 on the chart, and brought hypnotic singles, such as “On & On,” “Next Lifetime,” and “Appletree.” The 20-track effort won Erykah a Grammy for Best R&B album and led to a Live concert album, which peaked at #4 on the chart in 1997 as well. Baduizm and Live both topped Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop albums chart in 1997. 

Badu’s sophomore album, Mama’s Gun, peaked at #11 in 2000, spawning Grammy-nominated hits like “Bag Lady” and “Didn’t Cha Know?” 

2003’s Worldwide Underground EP, which peaked at #3 on the chart, was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. Badu reminisced over her third album in a lengthy Instagram post last September for its 17th anniversary.

“Cheers to you, WWUG,” she wrote in the caption. “You are a sacred chapter in the scripture of EB.”

Badu’s 2008 album, New Amerykah: Part One (4th World War), peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart, and featured production from Grammy-nominated rapper 9th Wonder.

2010’s New Amerykah: Part Two: Return of the Ankh, respectively peaked at #4, followed by 2015’s But You Caint Use My Phone at #14 and on the Top R&B albums chart at #2.

Cheers to the R&B queen, ERYKAH BADU!

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

New Music Friday: Tank, Bryson Tiller, Yung Bleu & Coi Leray

Here’s a roundup of new music from today hottest R&B singers.

The self-proclaimed R&B General Tank entices fans with his signature romance appeal on “Can’t Let it Show.” The sensual track samples Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work,” which was also sampled by Maxwell

“How did I lose you / How did I blow that, How can we go back/ Why did I not choose you / Instead of a good time/ I wasted your good time,” sings Tank.

“Can’t Let it Show” follows Tank’s 2020 EP’s, While You Wait and Worth The Wait. His last album, Elevation, was released in 2019, containing his #1 platinum-selling hit, “Dirty.”  Tank’s new album is slated for a summer 2021 release. 

Fans believe a video for “Can’t Let it Show,” is currently in the works after P-Valley star Brandee Evansshared a Twitter photo earlier this week, with the caption, “Coming soon #Cantletitshow #BTS @therealtank.”

Bryson Tiller did drop a music video for his new single, “Like Clockwork” from the deluxe edition of his 2020 album, Anniversary, which arrives today.

The visual takes fans through a day in the life of the Louisville native as he implants himself more into the music world. It follows Bryson as he enjoys some downtime with friends, having a photoshoot by the pool and making a couple of boss decisions with his team.

Hopefully, the Anniversary deluxe will hold fans over until Tiller releases his forthcoming triple album, Serenity.

Yung Bleu also dropped a music video for his new single, “Thieves in Atlanta” featuring Atlanta rapper Coi Leray. In the video, rap crooner Bleu believes he’s found the one in Coi, who plays a dancer at Follies strip club and ends up robbing him of his chains. 

“I don’t need ’em anyway,” raps Bleu. 

(Videos contain uncensored profanity)

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Bruno Mars announces new musical project Silk Sonic; single out next week

Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesFinally, Bruno Mars is gifting us with new music.

On Thursday night, he announced that he’s teamed up with Grammy-winning R&B singer Anderson. Paak to make a new album. “We locked in and made an album,” he tweeted. “The band’s called Silk Sonic. First song drops next Friday 3/5.”

He also tweeted what is presumably the album artwork: It shows drawings of both his and Anderson’s faces, both wearing big sparkly glasses, and it has the title “An Evening with Silk Sonic.”  Underneath that, it says, “With special guest host Bootsy Collins.”

Collins is the legendary bass player and singer who’s best known for his work with James Brown, and as member of the pioneering group Parliament-Funkadelic.  He’s also a pop culture icon who’s been name-checked in songs, and appeared in numerous TV shows and commercials.

Anderson also posted the artwork and wrote, “WE MADE AN ALBUM!! YALL GET THE FIRST SONG NEXT FRIDAY 3/5!! ROCKET EMOJIS AND ALL THAT!!!

This is Bruno’s first album release since 2016’s Grammy-winning 24K Magic, though he’s released a number of collaborative singles since then. .Paak’s last album was 2019’s Grammy-winning Ventura.


By Andrea Dresdale
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Kanye spent over $12 million on presidential campaign

SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesKanye West spent over $12 million on his 2020 presidential campaign, according to his Federal Election Commission report.

In total, the 43-year-old rapper received over $14.5 million in contributions for his failed run at the presidency, with just under $12.5 million of that coming out of his own pocket. According to Forbes, though, it seems he’s got plenty to go around. 

West topped the outlet’s list of highest-paid celebrities of 2020, claiming the number two spot behind his soon-to-be former sister-in-law Kylie Jenner. He earned an estimated $170 million, with a lot of the funds coming from his Yeezy sneaker deal with Adidas. 

By Danielle Long
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Andra Day and Lee Daniels discuss their “wonderfully collaborative” process making ‘The U.S. vs Billie Holiday’

Takashi Seida/HuluAndra Day transforms into the late great jazz singer Billie Holiday in the Lee Daniels-directed Hulu film The United States vs Billie Holiday.

While becoming the tormented songstress was no simple feat, Day tells ABC Audio that there were some aspects in making the film that did come easy.

“I will say the shooting, and the character — definitely not easy,” she says. “What was easy was the chemistry between Lee and myself and my cast. [It was] wonderfully collaborative.”

“And I think when [Lee] has that love and that respect for his artists that we are creating together — it’s just brilliance,” Day notes. “And I think that makes the best leaders. So that was a very easy energy and realm to play in.”

A thankful Daniels nods to her response, adding that there was much more he’d love to explore when it came to Holiday’s tumultuous life.

“It’s not really a biopic, it’s just a moment in time,” Daniels explains. “But if it were her biopic, we would have talked, really talked, about her affairs with Tallulah Bankhead and other women. We would have really delved into her being queer.”

“I would have talked about her very complicated relationship with her mother,” he continues. “I would have delved into more of her relationship with Lester [Young]. It was a very powerful relationship she had.”

However, Daniels says that due to time constraints, there was a lot left “on the cutting room floor that [will end up] in the director’s cut.”

“Where we see her stealing, because she was a thief. We see her beating men’s behinds. We see her kicking a**,” he reveals. “She’s a gangster. So more of her gangster… just more Billie.”

The United States vs Billie Holiday is now available on Hulu.

By Candice Williams
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Watch Pooh Shiesty’s Vevo performance of “Back in Blood” and “Guard Up”

Courtesy of Ctrl VevoPooh Shiesty is the latest artist to perform for Vevo’s Original Content Series, Ctrl Vevo. 

The Memphis rapper brought his intense bars, slick melodies and inimitable presence to perform a melody of his first Billboard Hot 100 entry “Back In Blood” and “Guard Up” from his Shiesty Season mixtape.

Vevo’s Ctrl sessions series spotlights emerging and established artists making an impact in today’s music scene. Other sessions feature performances from Rick Ross, Common, Rapsody, Fat Joe, Jeezy, Jadakiss, Fabolous, A$AP Ferg and more. 

According to a press release, Pooh was first introduced to the music scene at a young age, courtesy of his father, who founded the Memphis-based Mob Ties Records and rapped under the name, Mob Boss.

After releasing tracks like “Breakin News,” and “Choppa Talk,” Pooh perfected his wordplay and took things to another level with his 2019 anthem, “Shiesty Summer.” Since then, he’s collaborated with the likes of Lil Baby, Lil Durk, fellow Memphis rappers Moneybagg Yo and BIG30 and others.

Pooh Shiesty is also signed to Gucci Mane‘s 1017 label and was featured on the label’s 2020 compilation album, So Icy Gang Vol.

(Videos contain uncensored profanity.)

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Deborah Joy Winans shares what viewers should take away from Don’t Waste Your Pretty: “It’s OK to be hurt”

Courtesy of Deborah Joy WinansDeborah Joy Winans stars in Demetria L. Lucas’ new film, Don’t Waste Your Pretty, alongside Redaric Williams and Keri Hilson. 

The Greenleaf star plays Jeanné, a recent divorcee who now struggles in the love department, although she finds it in someone close to her. 

“In playing the role of Jeanné, I think that you see a woman that has just really struggled with her hurt and her betrayal,” Winans tells ABC Audio. “And so she holds on to it for so long that she cannot see the love and the beauty that’s right in front of her. And I want people to recognize that it’s OK to be hurt.”

“It’s ok to feel betrayed and to be vulnerable and to just recognize what that is,” she continues. “It’s not ok to hold onto it. All you do is stifle your own growth [and] your own journey. When you’re holding on, you’re looking back and I think I want people to be able to walk away from this saying, ‘I’m letting the past go so that I can truly embrace my future. I can embrace the very blessing that’s right in front of me.'”

Winans says she was “grateful” Lucas and the film’s director specifically thought of her to play this particular role, as a representation for all women who want to find love. 

“I love the fact that I was told that Demetria and our amazing director, Tamara Bass, they wanted a full-figured woman for this role,” she says. “They wanted someone that just was the average woman so that people could see themselves represented in every shape, every size, every color. And so I was so grateful that they thought of me.” 

Don’t Waste Your Pretty premieres Sunday, Feb. 28th at 6 p.m. EST on TvOne. 

By Rachel George
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.