Tag Archives: Hip Hop Film and Movie News

Jason Mitchell aka ‘Eazy E’ Dropped From ‘The Chi’ and Other Projects

Jason Mitchell is being dropped from his starring role on Showtime’s hit series, The Chi and upcoming projects.

It has been confirmed that the up and coming actor will not return for The Chi’s already announced third season.  Mitchell will also no longer be starring in the Netflix film Desperados, in which he was set to star opposite Nasim Pedrad, Anna Camp, and Robbie Amell. Furthermore, Mitchell is no longer repped by UTA or Authentic Talent and Literary Management.

None involved would comment on the reason for severing ties with Mitchell. Reportedly, he was involved in an off-set incident during production on Desperados, leading to his dismissal from that project and subsequently from The Chi.

Mitchell has been on the rise since his breakout role in the 2015 film Straight Outta Compton, where he played NWA member Eazy-E. Since then, Mitchell has starred in films such as Mudbound, Kong: Skull Island, and Detroit. He plays a leading role on The Chi, which was created by Lena Waithe. Waithe praised Mitchell at last year’s Television Critics Association winter press tour ahead of the Season 1 premiere, calling him “The Black Tom Hanks.”

On The Chi, Mitchell plays a young man striving to do better for himself, his girlfriend and his family. He dreams of opening his own restaurant one day and owns and operates a food truck. Brandon’s goals take flight after the death of his younger brother, Coogie, who is shot and killed on the streets of Chicago.

A rep at Good Universe confirmed his departure from the Netflix film, Deadline reported. They declined to comment further, however.

Deadline reported that Mitchell was also dropped by his management team at Authentic. UTA and Authentic both also confirmed that he was removed, but did not release statements.

Currently, no information about the misconduct has been revealed. Deadline reported that it happened away from the set. According to the outlet, Mitchell had previously been involved in inappropriate behavior on the set of The Chi, but the situation was resolved and production moved forward with him.

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Exclusive: The Cast of Netflix’s ‘See You Yesterday’ Break Down How They Intertwined Black Culture Into a Sci-Fi Flick

Spike Lee has another joint for us, and this one takes us into the world of sci-fi with a cast of strong Black leads and a setting that takes place in the heart of Brooklyn. Starting today, we urge you all to expand your minds, explore the impossible and get into Netflix’s newest time traveling epic that is See You Yesterday.



Directed by rising filmmaker Stefon Bristol and starring Eden Duncan-Smith, Danté Crichlow and rapper Stro — all four of them young and ready to take Hollywood by storm — See You Yesterday centers around a plot that’ll make you laugh, cry and probably want to go study quantum physics. The film takes us into the lives of two Black teens from Brooklyn that discover time travel and use it to reverse the outcome of police brutality stemming from the death of a family member. However, they soon find out that going back in time to change the past can cause some serious problems in present time, which creates an even bigger dilemma overall. The entire story arc is told with great detail that proves this film wasn’t pulled off overnight; actually, it originally started as a short film released in 2017 before Spike linked with Stefon to give it a big-budget makeover under his legendary production company 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks. Outside of a charming cast, great storytelling and even a meta cameo by Back To The Future star Michael J. Fox, the film tackles many issues that affect the Black community on all levels.

We wanted to dig deeper to get a breakdown of how it all comes together straight from the stars themselves, and thankfully The Source got to see an early screening of See You Yesterday during Tribeca Film Festival in New York City earlier this month. We spoke with Stefon, Eden, Danté and Stro to see how each of them viewed the topics and themes depicted in the film.

Keep scrolling to see what the stars of See You Yesterday had to say about making a sci-fi film that puts Black culture at the forefront of the future on multiple levels:


“I love Black people — that’s all I can say honestly [Laughs]. When I was working on making the film, I’d never seen young Black kids do STEM [Education] before onscreen. It’s funny, because I was trying to figure out how to do the time travel — should they go through a portal? Should someone else build the machine for them? — and it happened to where it just made sense for them to be the ones who invented it; you’ve never seen brilliant kids like this before. Often in movies Black children are always [depicted as] in a gang, selling drugs, being rappers or being ball players, and I felt there was more to us than that. I needed to see that onscreen, but I didn’t know there was such a need when writing [See You Yesterday]. I was seeing comments like, “This is a need!” and “I’m so glad this came out!” [The absence] was very bothersome, so I was happy to make it.

[Making See You Yesterday] required a lot of tone balance plus trial and error. I really needed to create a story about a family, and people love this family so much that you hope to see them win. When the inevitable happens, you just want to feel sorry for them and love them. Often when we see Black people being killed by police, the media will try to find blemishes in the wrongful killing with stuff like, “He was smoking weed in his apartment” or “He robbed a store before” to warrant his or her death. I made sure there weren’t any blemishes on these kids besides their own flaws in personality. That’s a very strong component in screenwriting — Make sure your characters have flaws, please! [Laughs] I wanted to make sure that when the inevitable happens, you ultimately love them for them.”

— Stefon Bristol, director



“When we started the short in 2015, I think the most important thing was to show police brutality in a very upfront way. I think the film does a really great job at showing the spectrum of police brutality, from harassing kids on the street who are just talking to their little sisters to literally killing them in cold blood. I think that’s a very important aspect of the movie that people should take from it. Other than that, there’s the aspect of Black teenage scientists. It’s something you don’t see often. The teenagers in this film go to The Bronx High School of Science, which is a crazy hard school to get into [Laughs]! People like Neil deGrasse Tyson went there, and it’s just a really great school. It’s so important to show Black teens doing really great things like inventing time travel. I think it’s definitely time to show these two aspects in the same light so we can see the fullness of Black life. We see a lot of movies of Black life at home or just socially, but we’re showing how we have to handle ourselves around the police and also us doing more than music, sports or any of the occupations apposed on us daily. We strip away at those stereotypes and it’s just important to be showing that, especially now at this time in life.

I think Stefon’s goal with [my character] CJ was that not all female Black nerds are quiet; they can be outspoken and bold. From the colors she was wearing down to the braids, it was very important to show Black culture in that way. It’s not just curly hair or a weave, because we have so many different hairstyles that we go in and out of on a daily basis. Even the variations of the way I wore my braids in the film was conscious as well. With how loud she might be or even “rough” as Eduardo’s grandmother puts it [Laughs], CJ is still very smart. It’s never a question of whether or not she is, and I hope I brought that to the character of CJ. I hope people take away that you can be big and bold yet very focused on the things you want to do in life.”

— Eden Duncan-Smith, Claudette ‘CJ’ Walker



“For this movie in general, we were trying to tackle stereotypes of African Americans in our society and the way they’re perceived due to the lifestyles they live. Having [the lead characters] be teenagers at a predominately scientific institution, being STEM students, and being sophomores in high school wasn’t a mistake; that was intentional. It was so important to have representation for younger kids to look at this movie and feel like they could aspire to be that. For adults who have been living this life already, they now have something to relate to. For me, what I wanted to bring to [my character] Sebastian was this sense of being three-dimensional in a human sense. He’s not just a Black scientist; he’s a human being trying to get into college, he’s someone who gets frustrated with his best friend and he’s just someone trying to stop bad things from happening. I wanted all those different dynamics to be there so that when you look at Sebastian Thomas, you don’t just look at him as a Black face or a number on a screen. You ultimately see him as a human being.

[Working on set] honestly felt like I was working from home [Laughs]! The first scene that has the police encounter with Calvin, his friend, CJ and Sebastian, and the guy walks by and he’s like, “Bun a fyah! BUN A FYAH!” is so accurate! I feel like I see that everyday [Laughs]. I thought those little instances and moments that aren’t necessarily dialogue are what make Stefon a genius as a director. For me, one aspect was loving feeling at home on set and the other was being part of a great piece of art. While this has aspects of police brutality, keeping the childlike relationship between CJ and Sebastian was so important. We really wanted to show that these are children and teenagers going through something they shouldn’t have to. They’re just trying to live their lives and get into college, yet there’s something in society that isn’t allowing that. Regardless of if it’s sci-fi, fantasy or fan fiction, keeping that element of reality in there shows their drive to keep pushing back. That undertone message of keep pushing back, no matter how hard the fight gets, is integral to this movie.”

— Danté Crichlow, Sebastian J. Thomas



“Making this film was surreal for me because I’m from East Flatbush. Just watching it from an outside perspective was dope because it felt like I was home onscreen. We don’t see a lot of films being shot in those parts of Brooklyn either, especially right now. They’d prefer to go to the parts everybody frequents, or just go for the brownstone aesthetic. For Stefon to take East Flatbush and show the humanity and the everyday vibe was amazing to me. As far as what we’re trying to achieve with [See You Yesterday], we wanted to spark the conversation around police brutality and the idea of a Black sci-fi film. Someone said they hadn’t seen something like this in their generation, and to be part of this is a blessing and very special to me.

My family is West Indian, so growing up in East Flatbush you see a lot of the stuff depicted in this film. It has a very homely vibe too, because even the guy with the cart in the alley gives off a vibe like that’s his spot. There’s a lot of that in Flatbush — those characters really exist there and will not be moved. Seeing it onscreen was dope, but I witnessed that regularly in real-life growing up. That’s what you get when you go over there; that whole area is just Jamaicans [Laughs].”

When I first tried acting, the role I read for I got on my first shot. That was a blessing because I never took acting classes. I’ve sat down with an acting coach maybe once or twice, but other than that it’s been me going over roles with my management, building in the living room for the most part and sending in my audition tape. People would say things like, “You have a natural, real vibe onscreen,” and I just continued to tap into that. It was never my goal to be an actor, but after seeing this film I will say that it makes me feel like I want to pursue it further. After everyone telling me they liked what I did in this film and me watching it myself, I can see why they would say the positive things. It’s making me appreciate the art of acting way more. The difference between the film world and the music industry is a matter of weird versus fake. In Hollywood, you hear stories and it’s just like, “That’s what they do; they weird!” The music industry has a lot of people smiling but it’s hard to know who’s genuine. I’m not a big actor, but I believe that whoever sees this film will open doors up for not just me, but also for Eden and Dante. The talent always comes first.”

— Stro, Calvin Walker


You can watch See You Yesterday right now by streaming it on Netflix.

Images: Netflix

The post Exclusive: The Cast of Netflix’s ‘See You Yesterday’ Break Down How They Intertwined Black Culture Into a Sci-Fi Flick appeared first on The Source.

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The Shaft Soundtrack to be Re-released as a Deluxe Issue

Craft Recordings has announced a new deluxe reissue of Isaac Hayes’ Grammy Award-winning album Shaft.

Set for a June 14th street date and limited to 5,000 copies worldwide, the two-CD collection will offer the newly remastered, classic soundtrack—originally released in 1971—plus all of the original music from the film, which did not appear on the best-selling LP. In-depth liner notes from Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson round out the set. A single-disc version consisting of only the remastered soundtrack will also be available.

In the liner notes of the deluxe reissue, Roots co-founder  Questlove writes that the film “was the Big Bang of African American movies…It was Year Zero for the Blaxploitation movement. It was the blast center.” While Shaft was a game-changer, Isaac Hayes’ compositions for the film helped set the stage for countless scores to follow. Questlove elaborates, “Shaft did many things. What it did, most of all, was cement the relationship between African American movies and African American music. Every Blaxploitation film that followed, whether it was a straight crime story, a feminist rewrite, a comedy, or even a horror movie, had an accompanying soundtrack by an artist trying to put the black experience on wax.”

Both a commercial and critical success, Shaft—Music From The Soundtrack remains Isaac Hayes’ best-known and best-selling album. The groundbreaking title—which, upon its release, was already setting a record as the very first double album of original studio material from an R&B artist—became an instant success. Shaft spent 60 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at Number One, while “Theme From Shaft” went to Number One on the Hot 100 singles chart. Hayes took home three Grammy Awards for the album and its songs in 1972, and an Academy Award® for “Best Original Song” for “Theme From Shaft,” becoming the first African American to win an Oscar in a non-acting category. The classic track has been sampled by N.W.A., Big Daddy Kane, Jay-Z and many more. In 2014, Shaft—Music From The Soundtrack was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

 

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Chadwick Boseman to Play African Samurai ‘Yasuke’

Fresh off back to back blockbusters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame, Chadwick Boseman is set to play Yasuke, the first African samurai gain prominence in Japan. The Get On Up star will also produce the film that’s set in 16th century Japan.

Co-creator of the Netflix hit Narcos, Doug Miro is writing the script, which centers on an African man who arrived in Japan in 1579 in the service of an Italian Jesuit and served under the Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga. He was captured in a battle in 1582. According to legend, Yasuke is the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai.

“The legend of Yasuke is one of history’s best kept secrets, the only person of non-Asian origin to become a Samurai,” Boseman said. “That’s not just an action movie, that’s a cultural event, an exchange, and I am excited to be part of it.”

As Deadline describes the project: “Yasuke was a native of Portuguese Mozambique who was brought to Japan as a slave to Jesuit missionaries. The first black man to set foot on Japanese soil, Yasuke’s arrival aroused the interest of Nobunaga, a ruthless warlord seeking to unite the fractured country under his banner. A complex relationship developed between the two men as Yasuke earned Nobunaga’s friendship, respect — and ultimately, the honor, swords and title of samurai.”

According to the biography “African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan,” by Thomas Lockley and Geoffrey Girard, Yasuke was originally taken from his village near the Nile by slavers and eventually sent to India to serve the Portuguese.

Boseman has made a name for himself by playing roles of legendary figures such as Jackie Robinson in 42, James Brown in Get On Up, and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall.

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Tribeca Film Festival to Host Screening of ‘Boyz n the Hood’ to Celebrate John Singleton

The film industry is reeling after the death of John Singleton. In what will be one of many ways to tribute the legendary filmmaker, Tribeca Film Festival will host a free screening of Boyz n the Hood on Friday, May 3.

Boyz n the Hood was Singleton’s directorial debut and the success of the 1991 film landed the then 24-year-old director his first Academy Award-nomination. The film and Singleton were nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards.

 “John Singleton accomplished what all creators strive to. He entertained, but also inspired a generation of audiences. As the first African-American director as well as the youngest director to be nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 24, he allowed so many to envision themselves as changemakers,” said Jane Rosenthal of the Tribeca Film Festival. “We want to celebrate him as we consider the legacy that he has left behind and so the Festival is adding a free screening of Boyz n the Hood on Friday May 3 for the community to come together, see his pivotal film, and honor John.”

The tickets for the Boyz n the Hood screening are free and can be acquired by signing up here. The screening will be Friday, May 3 at SVA.

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New Documentary Focuses on the History of Bay Area Hip-Hop

NBC Bay Area’s Emmy Award-winning series Bay Area Revelation returns with Culture of Hip Hop premiering Saturday, April 27 at 10 p.m. The one-hour documentary will explore how Hip-Hop has influenced the Bay Area and tells the story of the entrepreneurial artists who created their own sound and set their own rules.

“The Bay Area is home to a thriving hip hop scene, producing legendary artists who paved their own road, and emerging talent who are using their skills and creativity to express the reality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Stacy Owen, President and General Manager of NBC Bay Area. “In Culture of Hip Hop, we’re able to connect with the people behind the personas and show why hip-hop is more than just a music genre.”

Bay Area rappers are known for their self-made hustle – whether it is selling cassettes out of the trunk, starting their own music labels, or generating their own buzz on social media. These artists created their own lingo and started new social trends.

Culture of Hip Hop gives viewers an inside look at Bay Area hip hop from several artists within the industry who share stories of their struggles, their “big break” and what keeps them going. The film begins with interviews with pioneering rappers Too Short and E-40 who describe the early days of their careers recording, marketing and selling their own music. Their music influenced future generations of self-made Bay Area rappers, some of which are also featured in the film including global star G-Eazy, Saweetie, Kamaiyah, and Nef the Pharaoh. Other interviews include legendary Bay Area DJ’s Big Von and Chuy Gomez and hip hop historian Davey D.

“Bay Area Revelations: Culture of Hip Hop” airs Saturday, April 27 at 10 p.m.

Check out the trailer below.

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Beyoncé Releases ‘Homecoming’ Documentary and Live Album

In case you missed it, the BeyHive is buzzing. Beyoncé had Hive members across the world up late and tired for work to catch her Homecoming documentary as soon as it hit Netflix. But Beyoncé wasn’t done, she also released Homecoming: The Live Album.

The made for Netflix documentary is two hours in length and takes fans behind-the-scenes of the historic cultural moment of Mrs. Carter’s headlining Coachella set dubbed Beychella. Within Homecoming, you receive footage, interviews, the performance and more.

Continuing to keep her fans on their toes, Beyoncé also released Homecoming: The Live Album, which is a two-hour audio experience of 2018’s Coachella.

You can access both the documentary and live album below.

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JAY-Z Sends Jordan Peele a Celebratory Message for the Success of ‘Us’

Have you seen Jordan Peele’s Us, yet? If you haven’t, make sure you get to movie theaters to enjoy then celebrate the number one film from the Get Out creator. That’s what Jay-Z did and issued a congratulatory message via all of Roc Nation’s social media channels.

The image shared with the nod of victory to Peele was from the Oscar celebration in 2018, showing Hov with Peele and Kobe Bryant, both of which who had won awards that night.

“For US by US. Congrats on the #1 movie in the world.” – Hov

Us is a massive box office hit, bringing in $70 million in its opening weekend, which doubled the projects and ran past the $33 million Get Out did in its first weekend. The film now holds the record for the largest opening weekend of an original horror movie and only trails Halloween and IT reboots for horror films overall.

Congrats to Jordan Peele!

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Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara Steps Down Amid Alleged Sexual Misconduct Scandal

The #MeToo movement brings down another music exec as Warner Bros. CEO steps down after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced.

According to Page Six, Warner Bros. made the announcement following an allegation that Kevin Tsujihara, the company’s chief executive officer, promised “acting roles in exchange for sex.”

Warner Media’s CEO John Stankey says of Tsujihara’s resignation, “Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the company’s leadership expectations and could impact the company’s ability to execute going forward.”

According to an article published by The Hollywood Reporter, Kevin and an actress named Charlotte Kirk, who played in Ocean’s 8 had a sexual relationship dating back to 2013 and Tsujihara allegedly promised that she’d be considered for roles in movies and T.V., and he reportedly claimed he would introduce her to some influential executives.

Warner Media says that a third party is still looking into the ongoing investigation.

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MTV Launches Three-Part Docuseries Highlighting Queen Naija

Queen Naija’s star skyrocketed throughout her banner year of 2018. The talented singer has graced stages across the country while balancing the new challenges of fame, all of which can be seen in the new three-part docuseries The Birth of Queen Naija.

The docu-series is a production of Viacom Digital Studios and is available for streaming today (March 18).

The MTV digital series will chronicle Queen Naija’s tour, her pregnancy and more.

“I’m so excited to partner with MTV on this incredible journey documenting my first national tour while pregnant with Legend,” Queen Naija said. “I cannot wait for my supporters to get a behind-the-scenes look at my life on the road.”

You can see the trailer above and you can check out the entire first episode here.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Look out for my 3 part Docuseries on @mtv coming soon ❤

A post shared by Cj & Renzo’s Mommy ❤ (@queennaija) on

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