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Exclusive: ‘The Breaks’ Cast Brings ’90s-Era Hip-Hop to Life on VH1

Exclusive: ‘The Breaks’ Cast Brings ’90s-Era Hip-Hop to Life on VH1
Many of the actors on VH1’s new scripted series The Breaks (premiering Monday, Feb. 20) were just kids during the early ’90s era of hip-hop captured in loving detail on the show. Yet, they’re still able to channel the spirit of that moment in the culture’s history because of how far they’ve gone to prepare for their roles.

For Mack Wilds, who also stars on Fox’s racially charged drama Shots Fired, premiering March 22, that meant actually learning how to spin records in order to add to hip-hop producer DeeVee’s skill set. When DeeVee takes part in a DJ battle at NYC’s New Music Seminar on the show, Wilds was prepared to go through the motions.

“I’m the type of guy who, if you put me up against anything that I don’t understand, I’m gonna go try to find out,” says the actor, who also has
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

George Michael Remembered as Hollywood Pays Tribute to Pop Superstar

  • MovieWeb
George Michael Remembered as Hollywood Pays Tribute to Pop Superstar
Earlier today, we reported the unfortunate news that pop music icon George Michael had passed away at the age of 53, after suffering from a heart failure. While his death was certainly unexpected, there is no foul play suspected, as the Hollywood community and fans around the world are in mourning at this devastating loss. As fans begin the grieving process, we have compiled a number of statements and tributes that have been sent out through social media over the past 24 hours, since the musician's untimely passing was announced.

One of the first to pay tribute to this late musician was his collaborator in the 1980s pop group Wham!, Andrew Ridgeley. Both George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley attended high school together, before forming Wham! in 1981. The group skyrocketed to fame with their 1984 album Make It Big, which was certified 6x platinum and included the smash hit singles "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Freedom.
See full article at MovieWeb »

Jay Z Releases ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Documentary ‘Rd 20’ To Celebrate Iconic Album’s 20th Anniversary — Watch

  • Indiewire
Jay Z Releases ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Documentary ‘Rd 20’ To Celebrate Iconic Album’s 20th Anniversary — Watch
Tidal continues with its exclusive video releases, premiering a new Jay Z documentary, “Rd 20.” The rapper and hip-hop mogul debuted the 35-minute film to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his iconic album “Reasonable Doubt.”

“This album literally saved my life…I can’t thank you all enough,” Jay wrote on Twitter shortly after the release.

Read More: Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ Video: Watch The Realist Art-Inspired, Nude Celebrity Short Film

Directed by Scheme Engine, the doc includes interviews and performances, details Jay’s come-up, how the album was created and his impacting legacy on the music industry. “Rd 20” is spilt into sections named after tracks from the album such as “Politics as Usual,” “Can’t Knock The Hustle,” “Brooklyn’s Finest” and more. Members of the “Reasonable Doubt” production team like DJ Premier, DJ Clark Kent and Ski also make cameos discussing Carter’s legacy.

Read More: Kanye West Explains
See full article at Indiewire »

Something About a Dogg Pound Biopic, with Curtis Young Playing His Father (Dr. Dre)...

  • ShadowAndAct
Whether or not this actually comes to fruition, it's not-so crazy an idea to consider, when, as I've argued previously, that the massive success of "Straight Outta Compton" would likely inspire other "hip-hop biopics." Recently announced, DJ Premier said he was working on a Gang Starr film; and also Chuck D suggested that he would entertain the idea of a Public Enemy bio; and the long-in-development Tupac Shakur project looks like it's alive again, given a recent casting notice I shared on this blog, which indicated Carl Franklin was attached to direct, and an actor to play the lead role is being sought.  And I'm sure there are (or will be) others. In an interview...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

After 'Compton' Success, DJ Premier Eyes Gang Starr Biopic

After 'Compton' Success, DJ Premier Eyes Gang Starr Biopic
The overwhelming success of N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton may cause Hollywood execs to start digging around for more hip-hop backstories to plunder. If veteran producer DJ Premier, who worked with Dr. Dre on the latter's "Animals" track for new album Compton, has his way, his former group Gang Starr will be next on the slate for a biopic.

The producer has begun working with the sister of Keith "Guru" Elam, the rapper who worked with Premier on six albums before passing away in 2010, to turn his vision into reality,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Wood Harris and Mack (Tristan) Wilds Will Star in VH1 Hip Hop Movie 'The Breaks'

VH1 has announced that Wood Harris, Mack (Tristan) Wilds, Afton Williamson, David Call and Antoine Harris have joined the cast of its newest original movie, "The Breaks." Written and directed by Seith Mann and based on the book "The Big Payback" by journalist Dan Charnas, the film is a narrative history of the hip-hop business. Legendary New York music producer DJ Premier will compose the score and serve as executive music producer for “The Breaks,” which will begin production this week and premiere late Fall 2015. More from the press release below: “The Breaks” will chronicle the journey of Nikki, David and DeeVee,...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

Wood Harris and Mack (Tristan) Wilds Will Star in VH1 Hip Hop Movie 'The Breaks'

Wood Harris and Mack (Tristan) Wilds Will Star in VH1 Hip Hop Movie 'The Breaks'
VH1 has announced that Wood Harris, Mack (Tristan) Wilds, Afton Williamson, David Call and Antoine Harris have joined the cast of its newest original movie, "The Breaks." Written and directed by Seith Mann and based on the book "The Big Payback" by journalist Dan Charnas, the film is a narrative history of the hip-hop business. Legendary New York music producer DJ Premier will compose the score and serve as executive music producer for “The Breaks,” which will begin production this week and premiere late Fall 2015. More from the press release below: “The Breaks” will chronicle the journey of Nikki, David and DeeVee, three friends united by their love of hip-hop, as they work to make their big mark in the music industry. The film will travel viewers back to the summer of 1990 in New York City where the music industry’s artists and hustlers intersect in the dance clubs and
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Plot Details for Seith Mann's VH1 Film on the History of Hip-Hop (May Become a Series) + DJ Premier Will Score

VH1 has tapped legendary producer DJ Premier (aka Preemo) to compose a score and serve as executive music producer of the new original movie "The Breaks,' which Seith Mann is attached to write, direct and executive produce. Inspired by journalist Dan Charnas’ book "The Big Payback," the telepic will tell a narrative history of the hip-hop business, with principal photography set to begin in June, and a premiere date set for late Fall 2015. Specifically, "The Breaks”" will chronicle the journey of Nikki, David and Deevee, three friends united by their love of hip-hop, as they work to make their big mark in the music industry. The film will travel viewers back to the summer of 1990 in New York City where the music industry’s artists and hustlers intersect in the dance clubs and the street corners of the still crime-ridden city. Nikki Jones is a brilliant recent graduate who
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Plot Details for Seith Mann's VH1 Film on the History of Hip-Hop (May Become a Series) + DJ Premier Will Score

  • ShadowAndAct
VH1 has tapped legendary producer DJ Premier (aka Preemo) to compose a score and serve as executive music producer of the new original movie "The Breaks,' which Seith Mann is attached to write, direct and executive produce. Inspired by journalist Dan Charnas’ book "The Big Payback," the telepic will tell a narrative history of the hip-hop business, with principal photography set to begin in June, and a premiere date set for late Fall 2015. Specifically, "The Breaks”" will chronicle the journey of Nikki, David and Deevee, three friends united by their love of hip-hop, as they work to make their big mark in the music industry. The film will travel...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

DJ Premier Signs On As Music Producer For VH1 Rap Drama ‘The Breaks’

Grab your Kangol and head over to Jeans West for some new threads. VH1 has announced production of The Breaks, an original movie about the Hip Hop business set in New York City during the early 90s, that will serve as a backdoor pilot for a potential series. DJ Premier, multiple Grammy-award winning member of the seminal rap group Gang Starr, will serve as executive music producer and compose the score. The Breaks is based on Dan Charnas’ nonfiction book The Big Payback: T…
See full article at Deadline TV »

DJ Premier Signs On As Music Producer For VH1 Rap Drama ‘The Breaks’

  • Deadline
Grab your Kangol and head over to Jeans West for some new threads. VH1 has announced production of The Breaks, an original movie about the Hip Hop business set in New York City during the early 90s, that will serve as a backdoor pilot for a potential series. DJ Premier, multiple Grammy-award winning member of the seminal rap group Gang Starr, will serve as executive music producer and compose the score. The Breaks is based on Dan Charnas’ nonfiction book The Big Payback: T…
See full article at Deadline »

Nas: Time Is Illmatic Blu-ray Review

Director: One9

Cast: Nas, Charles Jones III, Jabari Jones, Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Q-Tip, Large Professor, Pete Rock, DJ Premier

Certificate: 15

Running time: 74 minutes

Extras: Deleted Scenes, Time Is Illmatic Album Breakdown

As an esteemed rapper, writer, record label owner, magazine publisher, actor, and Harvard honorary graduate, it was about time somebody made a film on the life and times of Nas, hip hop extraordinaire – and that’s exactly what director One9 has done.

Born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas was destined to be involved in music in some way. Along with his younger brother Jabari ‘Jungle’ Jones, Nas grew up in a section of the Long Island projects, Queensbridge House, home to around 6,000 people. Rhyming from an early age – and growing up in one of the most unpredictable areas of New York – Nas soon learnt that what he put into his lyrics mattered.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Watch: Trailer For Documentary 'Nas: Time Is Illmatic' Presents A Classic Rap Album

  • The Playlist
Can documentaries about famous rap groups and albums be a new thing please? A few years ago we got the excellent "Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest," detailing the fascinating and incredible story of the highly influential hip hop group, and now comes "Nas: Time Is Illmatic," another snapshot of a rapper who has inspired a generation of artists. Directed by One9 (huh?) and featuring the participation of Nas, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., DJ Premier, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys and more, the movie goes twenty years back in time to 1994, when Illmatic dropped and turned heads everywhere. The doc chronicles Nas' influences, his life story and career—which saw him signing to major label at 20 years old—and how he developed his unique artistic voice. "Nas: Time Is Illmatic" arrives in select theaters beginning October 1st and on nationwide VOD
See full article at The Playlist »

Dave Chappelle Opens Up About Leaving 'Chappelle's Show' And His $50 Million Contract

Dave Chappelle sat down with David Letterman on Tuesday and touched on his shocking exit from Chappelle’s Show in 2005, saying he’s just “seven years late for work.”

Dave Chappelle Returns To The Stage

Chappelle shocked the world when he abruptly left his hit show on Comedy Central in 2005. Chappelle had just signed a reported $50 million contract with the network, only to leave in the middle of Chappelle’s Show’s third season, and many speculated that he had a nervous breakdown. Following his disappearance from the industry, Chappelle has kept to himself, becoming known as somewhat of a recluse.

In 2013, Chappelle returned to the stage, headlining the Funny or Die Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Tour. This year, Chappelle is performing a string of sold-out stand-up shows at Radio City Music Hall in June, followed by shows with musicians the Roots, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes and DJ Premier.
See full article at Uinterview »

Dave Chappelle: 'I Never Quit – I'm Seven Years Late for Work'

Dave Chappelle: 'I Never Quit – I'm Seven Years Late for Work'
Dave Chappelle sat down Tuesday night for an alternately hilarious and insightful interview on The Late Show With David Letterman, marking his first late-night appearance in six years (and his first on Letterman's show in a decade). There's a clear mutual respect between the two comedy legends, as the duo exchange friendly family banter and reflect on their comedy careers. But the most obvious talking point – Chappelle's infamous exodus from Chappelle's Show – dominates the conversation, with the host playfully grilling his guest about walking away from $50 million and a third season.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Dave Chappelle and Friends Will Play Radio City Music Hall

  • Vulture
Dave Chappelle and Friends Will Play Radio City Music Hall
Coinciding with the ten-year anniversary of Dave Chappelle's Block Party, the man himself will perform a string of five shows at New York City's Radio City Music Hall in June. Then he'll team up with the Roots, Busta Rhymes, DJ Premier, Janelle Monae, and Erykah Badu for three additional shows at the same venue. Everything is, naturally, already sold out. (But we're sure you can swing a way to find tickets if you really try.)
See full article at Vulture »

Tribeca Film Review: ‘Time Is Illmatic’

Tribeca Film Review: ‘Time Is Illmatic’
It’s unlikely that hip-hop documentary “Time Is Illmatic” will have many showings as thrilling as its opening-night slot at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, where it preceded an impassioned live performance by its subject, the artist born Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones and better known by his stage name: Nas. Still, this brisk, stylish and extremely heartfelt portrait of Nas’ rise from the housing projects of Queensbridge to the heights of hip-hop royalty ably stands on its own, marked by an admirable focus on the man and his music rather than hype and hagiography. Sure to be embraced by fans (but also a fine primer for neophytes), “Time” should have a long home-viewing shelf life following additional fest and select theatrical bookings.

In his feature directing debut, the former graffiti artist and graphic designer One9 smartly avoids trying for a comprehensive career portrait of Nas, instead centering on
See full article at Variety - Film News »

New 'Illmatic' Doc Details Hip-Hop Classic's Humble Beginnings

New 'Illmatic' Doc Details Hip-Hop Classic's Humble Beginnings
It may have been the most New York moment in years.

Robert De Niro, onstage Wednesday night at the Beacon Theatre, introduced Time Is Illmatic, the new documentary on Nas' 1994 landmark debut Illmatic, to kick off the Tribeca Film Festival. "Twenty years ago, I would've been 20 years too old for this music," quipped the actor and festival co-founder to a boisterous crowd of fans, media and seemingly every important hip-hop figure in mid-Nineties New York.

Nas: My Life in 20 Songs

Unlike music docs that attempt to deify or elevate the obscure — Anvil,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Watch: Trailer for Tribeca's Opening Night Film 'Time Is Illmatic,' the Documentary on the Landmark Nas Album

  • Indiewire
Watch: Trailer for Tribeca's Opening Night Film 'Time Is Illmatic,' the Documentary on the Landmark Nas Album
Few debut albums of the past 20 years are as assured or as influential as Nas' "Illmatic," a diamond-bullet of a record that helped kick off hip-hop's second golden era and still arguably stands as its greatest achievement. Tribeca has selected "Time Is Illmatic," the documentary about the making of the album, as the opening film of this year's festival, and they've released a trailer for the film. "Time Is Illmatic" covers Nas' journey to make his towering debut at a mere 20 years old, looking through his influences, the musical legacy of his family (jazz musician father Olu Dara, his younger brother Jabari "Jungle" Fret), and the odds he faced after being rejected by labels such as Cold Chillin' and Def Jam and the murder of his best friend DJ Willy "Ill Will" Graham. Nas' highly literate rhymes and rat-a-tat delivery gained the attention of high profile producers
See full article at Indiewire »

Ill Bill – The Grimy Awards Review

This is the fourth studio album by Non Phixion member Ill Bill and is the follow up to the 2008 Hour of Reprisal. Ill Bill has always been a hardcore underground emcee with impecable taste in producers and this album does not vary from that route. In fact the album’s production credits could read as a who’s who Hardcore Hip-Hop’s best producers; DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, El-p, Psycho Les of the Beatnuts and DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill. The list of guests is pretty impressive too; Lil Fame of M.O.P., Jedi Mind Tricks, O.C., Cormega, Shabazz the Disciple and A-Trak. A small point though before I progress on with the review if you are easily offended by bad language, conspiracy theory’s and or hardcore Hip-hop beats then this album is not for you.

The album kicks off with the Ill Bill produced intro,
See full article at Obsessed with Film »
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