Thursday, December 22, 2011

Watch the Throne - The Cool Black Review

Watch the Throne album cover

Let me say that it took me a while to even check out this album by rap superstars Jay-Z & Kanye West I WAS NOT crazy (cray?) about the first two released tracks.

Watch the Throne was originally envisioned as a five track ep and then Kanye announced in October 2010 that this was going to be a full album. After I heard those first two singles I thought this album may be a “cash grab” to capitalize on their superstar status and or some sort of vanity project.

Following Kanye's announcement via his Twitter account, "H•A•M" was officially released as a digital download on January 11, 2011. On July 20, 2011 "OTIS" was premiered on Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 radio show and subsequently leaked to the Internet.

As I stated, I wasn’t feeling EITHER of those tracks."H•A•M" was just "W•A•M" and the “W” stands for “Wack”. The only good thing about the song was the hook.

I thought their next single “OTIS” was gotdamn ridiculous when I first heard it. I could not hear what the heck Jay-Z & Kanye were saying over the overpowering Otis Redding vocals. The Otis Redding vocals are still overpowering, but I've gotten used to them & can now decipher what they are rapping about.

Ok that was the first tracks released, but when I finally listened to the album my first impressions were to quote a friend of mine, "not to be funny" this is more of a Kanye West album featuring Jay-Z. Whether by intent or design, Kanye seems to outshine Jay on every song.  Maybe Jay-Z is at the point in his career where he CAN just step back. Let’s also be clear that Kanye’s rap skills have finally arrived. I think what made My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy such a masterpiece (yeah I thought it was masterpiece) was that his rap skills have vastly improved. Dude is like a real MC now.

There are great songs like "No Church in the Wild" (featuring Frank Ocean), That's My Bitch and Made it in America (again featuring Frank Ocean), but my favorite tracks on the album are the back to back tracks "Lift Off" (featuring Beyoncé) produced by Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker, Mike Dean, with additional production by Q-Tip, Pharrell and Don Jazzy and the track "Niggas in Paris" produced by Hit-Boy, Kanye West, Mike Dean and Anthony Kilhoffer.

Those two songs work seamless together and alone. Perfect for an album. The Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks while may be Deluxe...were no Bonus, including the aforementioned "H•A•M" which still didn't grow on me, but has become tolerable. As for the rest of the album even the tracks that don’t work by themselves work in the complete album.

Having said that, this whole album is HOT! Even though I deplore it, I can admit when I’m wrong. I mean it happens so rarely that it takes me by surprise. LOL.

Below is which of the individual tracks I thought were HOT

1. "No Church in the Wild" (featuring Frank Ocean) HOT
2. "Lift Off" (featuring Beyoncé) HOT
3. "Niggas in Paris" HOT
4. "Otis" (featuring Otis Redding)  HOT
5. "Gotta Have It" warm
6. "New Day"
7. "That’s My Bitch" HOT
8. "Welcome to the Jungle"
9. "Who Gon Stop Me"
10. "Murder to Excellence" HOT
11. "Made in America" (featuring Frank Ocean) HOT
12. "Why I Love You" (featuring Mr Hudson) warm

Deluxe Edition Bonus tracks

13. "Illest Motherfucker Alive"
14. "H•A•M"
15. "Primetime"
16. "The Joy" (featuring Curtis Mayfield)


Below is a look at some of the inner workings captured during the Watch the Throne recording sessions of Jay-Z and Kanye West.

Watch the Throne Session Photos

Check out the first video from Watch the Throne, OTIS , a video that more than likely got me to like the song more and video that looks like a whole bunch of fun

Check out an excellent short film based on "No Church in the Wild" (featuring Frank Ocean) at our parent blog ‘Nother Brother Entertainment blog here

Read about the video for Niggas in Paris on the ‘Nother Brother Entertainment Facebook page here

Related posts-

For ALL of our posts about Watch the Throne click here

Read Jay-Z and Kanye-A Timeline of Partnership here

For ALL blog posts about Jay-Z click here

For ALL blog posts about Kanye West click here

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reel Talk: Allow It: The 2012 Black Reel Awards Nominations

Reel Talk: Allow It: The 2012 Black Reel Awards Nominations: The 2012 Black Reel Awards looks to be the answer to the mainstream awards snubbing many of the wonderful black movies and performances fro...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Jay-Z Holding New Fundraisers at Carnegie Hall

Jay-Z to raise money, perform at Carnegie Hall

By Mesfin Fekadu -Associated Press / December 9, 2011

NEW YORK—Jay-Z (pictured left) didn't graduate from high school, but he's encouraging others to value their education.

The rapper announced Thursday that he will perform two shows at New York's Carnegie Hall in February to benefit the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and the United Way of New York City.

"Education is super important," Jay-Z said. "I don't have a high school diploma or a college diploma, but still for me to articulate, I had to have some form of schooling to articulate my thoughts."

The concerts will take place on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7. Tickets in the private sale will range from $500 to $2500.

The press conference announced Jay-Z as the first solo hip-hop artist to play at the famed venue, though Wylcef Jean performed there in 2001 with Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton and Whitney Houston.

"I feel like they bent the rules so that it could make sense for me right now, but I'll take it," Jay-Z said with a laugh.

Jay-Z says performing at Carnegie Hall is a big deal for hip-hop, and he's happy to bring the genre to greater heights.

"Any time that I get a chance to expand and broaden the reach of hip-hop is a great thing for me on a personal level," he said.

The Brooklyn-born performer said he's excited to influence his community in ways outside of music. He says going back to the Marcy Projects complex where he grew up remains a moving experience.

He says he got the same feeling when he recently went to Kanye West's old home in the South Side of Chicago.

"The inspiration and how happy the people were, it just makes you feel really good," he said.



 CLICK the button to see all of
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Monday, December 5, 2011

808s & Heartbreak - A quick review

Three years later I finally listened to 808s & Heartbreak. I already bought two singles from the album, but not the whole.

808s & Heartbreak is the fourth studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released November 24, 2008 on Roc-A-Fella Records in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place at Glenwood Studios in Burbank, California and Avex Recording Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii during September to October 2008. It was primarily produced by West, No I.D., and Jeff Bhasker. Conceived in the wake of multiple events that affected and distressed him during the previous year, 808s & Heartbreak marked a major musical departure for Kanye West from his previous work, lyrically, vocally, and production-wise.

Classified by West as a pop album, 808s & Heartbreak incorporates elements of synthpop, electronica, R&B, and electropop, while its tracks are primarily sung rather than rapped by West and contain lyrical themes such as love, loneliness, and heartache. The album also contains extensive use of the Auto-Tune voice processor and the Roland TR-808 drum machine, which was utilized and manipulated by West to produce a distorted, electronic sound. Approaching the album's production in a minimalist fashion, West intended to contravene the typical sound of hip hop beat and instead evoke a presence of tribal drums.
- Wikipedia   
 My thoughts on '808s' in an Internet post. December 3, 2011

#np Finally played #Kanye's '808 & HEARTBREAK' all the way through and while I like a lot of things about it, I can see where a lot has to "grow on you".

The main thing I walked away with from this album was that IT IS way experimental and will make GREAT fodder for DJ remixes and media FILM & TV scores.
Kanye was and always be a genius producer and this album is no different!

 CLICK the button to see all of
our blog posts about KANYE WEST

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NEW interview with Mary J. Blige

Actually since her album My Life II: The Journey Continues (pictured above) drops today, she has been doing a lot of interviews, but her interview with the Los Angeles Times is a nice one. Click their logo below to read it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

J. Edgar - The Cool Black Review

J. Edgar

Directed by Clint Eastwood

Produced by Clint Eastwood, Brian Grazer, Robert Lorenz

Cinematography by Tom Stern

Released: November 11, 2011 (USA)

Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover
Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson
Naomi Watts as Helen Gandy
Judi Dench as Anna Marie, Hoover's mother.
Ed Westwick as Agent Smith, Hoover's biographer.

Summary: A biographical drama that focuses on the career of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover from the Palmer Raids onwards, including an examination of his private life as an alleged closeted (and chaste) homosexual.

Review: Far from a perfect picture given the personnel involved (Eastwood, DiCaprio), but still a good picture on many levels. Not told in straight chronological order, the film jumped back and forth in time showing Hoover as a young man and then as an old man telling his story to biographer Agent Smith.

The story jumped back and forth through time too much for my tastes, but I could see where Eastwood didn’t want it to seem like a lot of the many bio pics that have been told. Yet even the old telling the story to a biographer, confidant or reporter has been used time and time again.

While the film shows how Hoover was appointed to start the FBI and everything he did instituting a number of modern innovations to police technology, such as a centralized fingerprint file and forensic laboratories, it also of course details Hoover’s determination to collect information on everyone and I mean EVERYONE from the presidents to their wives. The film also doesn’t shy away from his personal life focusing a lot on his “private life as an alleged closeted (and chaste) homosexual.” and his Oedipus-like relationship with his mother Anna Marie. Given all that it was trying to show in a somewhat short time frame (2 hrs 17minutes) I guess that’s why the film kind of glossed over a particular interest of mine, his starting of COINTELPRO (more on that in the commentary following the review).

Leonardo DiCaprio was good as always, but of particular excellence was Armie Hammer as Clyde Tolson and Judi Dench as Anna Marie, Hoover's mother. Both gave stellar performances in their roles.

In the end, while I recommend J. Edgar is does have its flaws and could have been given more clarity without all the jumps back and forth in time. I felt about this like I felt about the Ray Charles biopic Ray (2004). When you cover someone’s life and work for a span of some 50 plus years a film can be too long...and too short.

Cool Black’s Mad Commentary…& info: As I said above I wanted to see more about COINTELPRO.

COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations started by Hoover in 1956.-Wikipedia
I found that the TV show American Gangster did a good job at describing and depicting COINTELPRO.

American Gangster is a documentary television series, which aired on BET. The show featured some of black America's most infamous and powerful gangsters, narrated by Ving Rhames.

In April 2009, A&E Networks purchased the rights to air seasons 1–3 on their networks. They can be seen primarily on the Bio Channel and the flagship A&E Channel. They can also be seen on A&E's Crime and Investigation Network. - Wikipedia
While "the show featured some of black America's most infamous and powerful gangsters." It took a somewhat slight departure and had the Season Three, Episode 5 titled "J. Edgar Hoover & COINTELPRO" (airdate November 20, 2008) where it detailed J. Edgar Hoover's staunch and illegal determination to thwart ANYONE he thought as subversive.

Season Three is NOT available on DVD, but it is available on various VOD (Video On Demand) platforms like Amazon and iTunes.

You can read a review of the "J. Edgar Hoover & COINTELPRO" episode here

Cool Black's Final Say: Well YOU might say, what is this review doing on a blog devoted to "African Americans in the Media" well because I wanted to and I also wanted to point out what the film DID NOT cover especically the inexorable pursuit and disruption of the many black groups during that era. Yes he pursued other factions, but the black factions are the ones I was interested in.

I could have just written a blog featuring the Cool Black’s Mad Commentary…& info portion, but I'm a filmmaker so I wanted to review the film as well and that is my Final Say© LOL


Read ALL of the reviews here at the blog by CLICKING the logo below

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jay-Z: Beyonce Wanted To Beat Tabloids To The Punch On Pregnancy Story

First Posted: 11/14/11 03:19 PM ET Updated: 11/14/11 05:09 PM ET - HuffPost Black Voices

Jay-Z said Beyonce decided to announce that she was pregnant on the MTV Video Music Awards to pre-empt a tabloid news show that wanted to break the news.

The rap superstar mused about the decision in an interview in GQ's Man Of The Year issue. (linked below) "It was actually Bey who wanted to [announce] it," Jay-Z said in the interview. "You want to be in control of your life."

Jay-Z, who is usually coy about his personal life, said that he wanted to be an active parent — he plans to change diapers — in part because his own father left the family when Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, was 11 years old. Kelly Rowland, Beyonce's Destinys Child bandmate, accidentally confirmed two weeks ago that the duo is having a daughter.

"Providing—that's not love," he told GQ. "Being there—that's more important. I mean, we see that. We see that with all these rich socialites. They're crying out for attention; they're hurting for love. I'm not being judgmental—I'm just making an observation. They're crying out for the love that maybe they didn't get at home, and they got everything. All the material things that they need and want. So we know that's not the key."

Jay-Z grew up in the Marcy Projects in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn, at a time when the neighborhood was one of New York's most dangerous areas. His father, Adnis Reeves, withdrew from the family after his brother was killed, and began abusing alcohol. The two would not speak again until 2003. Not long after, his father died from what Jay-Z said were alcohol-related causes.

“My dad swore revenge and became obsessed with hunting down Uncle Ray’s killer,” Jay-Z wrote in Decoded, his 2010 memoir. “The tragedy – compounded by the injustice – drove him crazy, sent him to the bottle, and ultimately became a factor in the unraveling of my parents’ marriage."

External link
CLICK the picture below to read in the Jay-Z profile in GQ's Man Of The Year issue

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our blog posts about Jay-Z

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oprah wins her Oscar

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Oprah Winfrey raises her Oscar statuette next to Stedman Graham at the conclusion of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 2011 Governors Awards in Hollywood, November 12, 2011.
Oprah Winfrey receives "unimaginable" Oscar

By Bob Tourtellotte

Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:55pm EST

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oprah Winfrey received an honorary Oscar for her charitable work on Saturday in what she called an unimaginable moment for a black woman who grew up poor in Mississippi and rose to the top of Hollywood stardom.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annually bestows its Governors Awards on people who have made an impact in the industry. This year, the honorary Oscars went to Winfrey, actor James Earl Jones and makeup artist Dick Simon at a black-tie affair that brought out stars such as John Travolta, Glenn Close and Alec Baldwin.

Talk show host and film actress Winfrey, who was nominated for a supporting-actress Academy Award in 1985's "The Color Purple," was given a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award by a young woman who was sent through high school on a financial grant she earned from Winfrey's foundation.

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient Oprah Winfrey speaks after accepting her Oscar statuette at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences 2011 Governors Awards in Hollywood, November 12, 2011.
Winfrey teared up when accepting her honorary Oscar and described the moment as "unimaginable" given her humble roots growing up in Mississippi.

"All of us can make a difference through the life we lead," Winfrey said. "We're all here to help each other."

She talked of her career as a TV chat show host and her movie work, and said it was "The Color Purple" that paved the way to stardom which, ultimately, led to philanthropy.

That movie "door opened to me through the magic and majesty of film," she said.

James Earl Jones was given his honorary Oscar for a body of acting work that ranges from his Academy Award-nominated performance as a boxer in "The Great White Hope" to voicing the role of the villainous Darth Vader in the "Star Wars" movies.

Jones was not on hand because he is in working in London, but he spoke to the Los Angeles audience in a speech that was taped earlier on Saturday.

He said he was "deeply honored, mighty grateful and just plain gobsmacked," using British slang for being astounded.

Finally, the "Godfather of makeup" Dick Simon was given an honorary Oscar for his behind-the-scenes work using makeup and prosthetics to make actors look old, young, sick, dying and dead in films ranging from "The Exorcist" to "The Godfather."

Simon gave a tearful and heartfelt acceptance speech in which he said he has loved every minute of his work in the movie business. "This kind of puts the crowning cap on all that," Simon said.

The Oscars, or Academy Awards, for the films of 2011 will be given out in a ceremony in Los Angeles on February 26.

Related Posts-

Lack of Diversity at the Oscars 2011

African Americans at the Academy Awards

Cool Black's Oscar Recap Past & Present

Cool Black's Entertainment Review 2010-Best Movie

Best Picture Race 2011

Short Film featuring Jay-Z & Kanye West music

At our parent blog

Check out and read about the thought provoking short film (pictured below)

featuring the song No Church in the Wild from their joint album Watch the Throne here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Black TV

The blog Diversity Ink has reposted the article

Scan courtesy of Diversity Ink
"The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Black TV" from the May 20, 2011 issue of Entertainment Weekly Read it here
CLICK the graphic below to see all of our blog posts about diversity at our parent blog the
'Nother Brother Entertainment blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fox may bring back Showtime's 'Soul Food' TV series

by Britni Danielle
Clutch Magazine

Word on the street is Fox is looking to revive the popular Showtime series Soul Food, based on the hit 1997 film.

The original Soul Food series ran on Showtime from 2000 to 2004 and was a hit with viewers. It followed the lives of a black family in Chicago, struggling with life's ups and down (marriage, divorce, owning a business, etc.). According to the industry blog Fishbowl LA, Twentieth Century Fox is looking to capitalize on the African-American demographic who is hungry for shows.

Fishbowl LA reports:

Now, Fox is looking to revamp the series for a new generation. The project is still in the very early stages of development, but executives at the company are said to be keen on it. It isn't yet clear whether the new Soul Food would be for the Fox broadcast network, or whether the company would try and sell it to other channels.
Although many networks have been slow to create shows that target African-Americans, the audience is out there. Cable networks such as TBS, VH1, and BET have scored hits with original programming targeting African-Americans, and the web is exploding with quality shows each day. So it would be wise for Fox, or any other network, to create well-written and well-acted shows that target black viewers.

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Info on the Tupac Shakur Biopic

John Singleton May Direct the Tupac Shakur Biopic

Claude Brodesser-Akner - New York Magazine's Vulture
10/12/11 at 10:00 AM

Almost twenty years after directing Tupac Shakur in Poetic Justice, John Singleton is in negotiations to direct a biopic about the slain rapper for Morgan Creek and Universal Pictures. The project had been set up with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua, but we’re told he had difficulty casting the role of Shakur; even a nationwide talent search failed to yield candidates of which Fuqua approved. As such, Fuqua has moved on and is looking at other projects, most notably attaching himself to direct Relativity Media’s Hunter Killer, a thriller about an American submariner and a Navy SEAL team who must work together to rescue the Russian president during a military coup d'état. (Vulture also hears exclusively that Relativity is in talks with Sam Worthington to star in that production.)

Singleton, meanwhile, had also been rumored to be in the running to direct the rapidly coalescing N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton at New Line Cinema, but insiders tell us that he’s instead taking the Tupac gig after the studio said it wanted to see how rival Compton candidate Craig Brewer fares with his update of Footloose, which opens this weekend. (Our prediction: Not well. The latest NRG tracking numbers shared with Vulture show that 80 percent of moviegoers surveyed said that they were aware of Footloose, but only a little more than one in four — just 28 percent — expressed "definite interest" in seeing it. Only 6 percent of moviegoers said it would be their "first choice" at the box office.) Plus, there’s the old “bird in the hand” theory; after Singleton’s Abduction flopped, we can’t imagine too many other studio offers were forthcoming.

The Tupac script comes from Oscar-nominated screenwriters Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson (Ali, Nixon), though we’re told the most recent draft is by Brian Tucker; his neo-noir script Broken City starts shooting next month with Allen Hughes directing, and Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg, and Catherine Zeta-Jones starring. That project was acquired for distribution by the Fox-based New Regency only last week.

Shakur and Singleton became quite friendly during the filming of 1993’s Justice, which is readily apparent in their easy camaraderie in this brief BET Rap City clip dating from June 1994 (in which — spoiler alert! — Tupac leaves Singleton in the dust in a sidewalk sprint-off). As such, it will be intriguing to see whom Singleton plans to cast in the title role of his former friend and colleague.


Details revealed of Tupac Shakur biopic
Jeff Weiss-Pop & Hiss, The L.A. Times music blog
August 27, 2010 - 1:06 pm

Unlike the title of his George Clinton collaboration, you apparently will be able to see Tupac Shakur on the silver screen, with New York Magazine's Vulture blog reporting that screenwriters have been drafted to pen a long-gestating biopic on the legendary rapper.

Indeed, the Oscar-nominated team of Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson ("Ali," "Nixon") will team up with Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day"), with production reportedly to begin as soon as mid-November. According to to Wilkinson's interview with Vulture, the script will not be in "any way biopic-y," a stark contrast to a previous draft that took a more verite approach. Wilkinson's interview also reveals that the script will pivot on the final day of 2Pac's life in Las Vegas, with a series of flashbacks depicting his previous four years. As for casting, no one has yet been chosen to play the mercurial MC, with reports claiming that the producers and director are searching for an unknown.

Rivele informed Vulture that "he knew nothing about [Shakur]" before diving into research, but upon immersing himself in just about everything ever written about the rapper, "it became clear that he was essentially a 19th century Romantic poet who found himself in the 21st century ... an artist whose character is at odds with his medium ... a really sensitive, very romantic, talented young poet who also could sing, dance, and act. But the realities [of the hip-hop record business] were that he had to create this persona of the gangster."

Of course, it's pure subjectivity as to whether you accept that interpretation. Anyone well-versed in the intricacies of mid-'90s hip-hop is aware that Shakur was a protean individual who shifted between several well-defined personas. Suffice to say, one of his first rap names was MC New York, but he died repping the West Coast. And though Shakur's career dovetailed with the peak of gangsta rap, to define him as being beholden to hip-hop convention seems to underestimate the power of his personality and willful defiance.

Had he the desire, Shakur could've inevitably bucked the prevailing trends to indulge his most starry-eyed visions. By the time he was murdered, his acting career was on stable enough footing that he could have turned his back on the recording industry to write poems a la Jim Morrison in Paris. But there was a dark and glamorous appeal to the thug life and any biopic of Shakur would be well served to focus on his internal contradictions rather than external conflicts.

The interview with Rivele goes onto indicate that he believed that Shakur was in the process of breaking free from his past associations and images, an act which may have led to his downfall. Of course, it's all mere speculation. Although if you're really into over-reaching, perhaps "Tintern Abbey" and "To Live and Die in LA" aren't all that far apart.

CLICK Tupac's pic below to see all of our posts about the Tupac Biopic


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our blog posts about TUPAC SHAKUR

Thursday, October 20, 2011

'The Avengers' First Trailer - Shot for Shot

Below is the first trailer

Below is the first trailer shot for shot

Cool Black's Acronym Commentary: LMFAO!

February 5, 2012

Avengers" - Extended Super Bowl Spot (HD)-

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

John Boyega Talks Spike Lee’s HBO project Da Brick

By Wilson

October 10, 2011

One of the hottest new actors to emerge in 2011 is John Boyega (Pictured left), who captivated audiences with his role as Moses in the alien invasion dramedy ‘Attack the Block.’

For the 19-year old British native, his performance attracted the attention of many producers and directors who wanted to cast him in their next project and the guy who got him first is director Spike Lee, who made Boyega the lead character of his upcoming drama series on HBO.

‘Da Brick’ is loosely based on former heavyweight boxing champion and recent Hall of Fame inductee Mike Tyson’s early life in the ring. Boyega will play Donnie, who, after his release from juvenile detention on his 18th birthday begins an exploration of what it means to be a man for himself and those around him. Also featured in the series are Julito McCullum and Kamahl Naiqui. caught up with Boyega recently as he spoke about his new project and ‘Attack the Block,’ which comes out on DVD on Oct.25.

How were you approached for the HBO project?

John Boyega: I auditioned for it. While I was doing a tour for ‘Attack the Block,’ I went back to LA and auditioned for ‘Da Brick.’ I had two auditions and a test and I just got the part.

Is this based on Mike Tyson’s early life?

JB: It’s loosely based on his life so you will see stuff that he’s spoken about in his world renowned documentary. So, a lot of things are taken from that and the struggles of being a black male in that area. There’s that political side but you will also the growth of a young boy to a champion. It’s a cool story and
very inspirational.

Had you see all of Spike’s films?

JB: Yes, I’ve seen all his movies. Recently, I saw ‘Inside Man.’ I think it’s going to be fun. Spike’s cool. I can’t wait to do it. I’m getting in shape now and working on my jump rope and throwing some punches so I can be a beast in the ring.

Will there be any deleted scenes on the ‘Attack the Block‘ DVD?

JB: I don’t know about deleted scenes, but you may see a lot of outtakes, and behind the scenes stuff to see how we were getting in character.

Do you think a sequel can be made?

JB: Yes. I have some ideas for it.

Related Links
Read all of our posts about Da Brick here

Monday, October 17, 2011

George Lucas African American Fighter Pilots Film

'Star Wars' Creator George Lucas Self-Finances Movie About First African-American Fighter Pilots
5:32 AM PDT 10/17/2011 by Georg Szalai - The Hollywood Reporter

The filmmaker put $58 million of his own money into making "Red Tails" and is spending $35 million more on its distribution.

NEW YORK - George Lucas is self-financing a film inspired by the first organized group of African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. armed forces, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the Wall Street Journal reported. The airmen, whose story will be featured in Red Tails, fought in World War II.

The film stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, Ne-Yo, David Oyelowo and Nate Parker, according to the Journal. The Star Wars creator put $58 million of his own money into the movie and is spending $35 million more for its distribution, the Journal said. It will be released by Lucas' production firm Lucasfilm Ltd. on Jan. 20, with News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox distributing it. Lucas told the newspaper through a representative that he has worked on the project for 23 years. He wanted to make an inspirational film for young people featuring role models, the paper added. "They are really the knights of the contemporary age," Lucas said in a statement.

Red Tails was directed by Anthony Hemingway (pictured left) and written by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder.

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: I found out about this film a while ago and saw the AWESOME trailer. Somehow I never posted it. Below you can see the trailer for yourself.

NOVEMBER 7, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

'Malcolm X' Coming to Blu-Ray

Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” Finally On Blu-ray In January

Sergio-Shadow & Act
October 13, 2011

The motto being “if at first you don’t succeed try again”... As you may recall, Spike Lee’s Malcolm X was scheduled to come out earlier this year in January 2011 on blu-ray DVD, but was suddenly pulled out from the its announced release date because of a music rights clearance problem.

Now, finally it looks as if those issues have been dealt with now that it has been announced the film will make its belated blu-ray DVD release on Jan 31, 2012 on Warner Home Video. Extras on the BD disc will include audio commentary by Lee, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, editor Barry Alexander Brown and costume designer Ruth Carter.

Other extras will include deleted scenes with an introduction by Lee, the By Any Means Necessary: The Making of Malcolm X featurette and the trailer. The 2 DVD set will also include a bonus disc containing the 1972 feature-length documentary Malcolm X.

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: I’ll probably get the Blu-Ray eventually, but I already own the Malcolm X (Two-Disc Special Edition, pictured right) and these extras sound like what I already have on that edition. :(

Related Post

Another Spike Lee Joint joins the National Film Registry

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our blog posts about SPIKE LEE

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lil Wayne -Tha Carter IV Review

Tha Carter IV was going to be released in late May, but was pushed back to June. Mack Maine confirmed that the album's release was postponed because they still needed time to make it perfect. On June 2, 2011, the album was pushed back further, and the album is due for release on August 29, 2011.-MTV News
I thought too that Lil Wayne AKA Weezy was pushing back his album release date to fine tune and make it great. If this is the best they could come up with they should have pushed it back to 2012.

This is not a bad album, but it doesn’t bode well when interludes featuring other artists are among the best tracks on the album. As you should expect most of the best tracks were already released as singles.

The first three singles 6 Foot 7 Foot (featuring Cory Gunz), John (featuring Rick Ross) and How to Love respectively are all HOT.

It took me a LONG time to get 6 Foot 7 Foot because of the mad corny hook (Interpolations of "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" by Harry Belafonte. Yeah. Ok.) and the production by Bangladesh (responsible for ‘A Milli’ from Tha Carter III) left much to be desired as well. It was only after a YouTube video with the lyrics (embedded at the bottom of the review) that I could see what pure FIRE the lyrics were. That goes to show you boys and girls, unless you have a good production, people will dismiss your song.

John (featuring Rick Ross) is a hot all around song as well, but perhaps my favorite off of the album is How to Love. Produced by Noel "Detail" Fisher with LaMar and LaNelle Seymour, How to Love is more ballad than rap, more pop than hip hop, but still a great song. We all knew Weezy could sing from his star vocals on "Duffle Bag Boy" by Playaz Circle (In truth the best thing about the song aside from the production by M16) so it came as no surprise to me that he could deliver a heartfelt ballad.

As I stated at the beginning, most of the tracks on this album don’t work. Besides the occasional hot lyrics in some, most songs as wholes are only ok. Some have to grow on you like How to Hate (featuring T-Pain). When I first heard the opening salvos of T-Pain’s autotune I thought “For real dog? Autotune? Really?!” But after listening to it a couple of times I have to admit it’s a good track. If the lyrics of How to Love was exactly that, the lyrics of How to Hate is…exactly that.

There are songs like Nightmares of the Bottom that have good rhymes, but there is nothing special about the beat.

Songs featuring good hooks So Special (feat. John Legend. Produced by Cool & Dre), She Will (featuring Drake) and Mirror (featuring Bruno Mars) also work to a certain degree. Mirror being about the best. (The sixth single off the album is "Mirror" featuring Bruno Mars, was released to urban radio on September 13, 2011.) The iTunes Store Bonus Track Up Up and Away produced by Timbaland is also good.

When you follow-up a classic album like Tha Carter III, it was probably impossible to top it, but I expected something more from Tha Carter IV.

Below are the tracks I thought were HOT.

1. Intro
2. Blunt Blowin HOT
3. Megaman
4. 6 Foot 7 Foot (featuring Cory Gunz) HOT
5. Nightmares of the Bottom
6. She Will (featuring Drake) warm
7. How to Hate (featuring T-Pain) HOT
8. Interlude (performed by Tech N9ne) HOT
9. John (featuring Rick Ross) HOT
10. Abortion
11. So Special feat. John Legend
12. How to Love HOT
13. President Carter
14. It's Good (featuring Jadakiss and Drake)
15. Outro (performed by Bun B, Nas, Shyne and Busta Rhymes) HOT


Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks

16. I Like the View
17. Mirror (featuring Bruno Mars) warm
18. Two Shots

iTunes Store Bonus Track

19. Up Up and Away HOT

Here is the lyrics video I spoke of above. It goes without saying that this video contains EXPLICIT LYRICS.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

'The Best Man 2' is a Go!

Movie poster for the 1999 film
 Universal Pictures has set Malcolm D. Lee to write, direct and produce Best Man 2, a sequel to the 1999 film. The films revolves around the wedding of a football player (Morris Chestnut) and his best man (Taye Diggs) who has written an autobiographical novel with major implications on the pending nuptials. The film also starred Terrence Howard, Harold Perrineau, Nia Long and Sanaa Lathan.

Made on a relatively small budget of nine million dollars, the film went on to make over $34,000,000, nearly four times as much as it cost to produce the picture, by the end of its theatrical run. Mike Fleming of Deadline reports that "the whole idea came out of a reunion dinner he held with most of the cast members, and they sparked to the idea of a re-team and so did the studio." See a pic from the reunion and a link to more info here

Info from Deadline and Wikipedia

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: While the whole primary cast is steadily working, no one has become a breakout star to the point where it would be "too expensive" for them to return.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Feature article with Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson
The Washington Post magazine has a good feature article with Taraji P. Henson titled The real Taraji Henson. You can read the article here

 You can read all our posts here at the Cool Black Media blog about Taraji by the button below

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Tupac Sex Tape PHOTOS

TMZ-10/5/2011 1:00 AM PDT

For all the non-believers ... Here is photographic evidence there IS a Tupac sex tape.

TMZ broke the story ... Tupac received oral sex from a mystery woman back in 1991 ... and it was all caught on tape. The 5-minute video shows Tupac in a living room, holding a cocktail in one hand and a blunt in another.

An unreleased Tupac song is playing in the background, as the rapper sings along, wiggling his hips -- all the while getting serviced by the woman.
At one point, Money B from Digital Underground walks into frame, and Tupac puts his cocktail arm around him as the two gab away.

2Pac's Family: We Will Sue ANYONE Who Tries to Sell the Sex Tape
TMZ-10/6/2011 12:50 AM PDT

2Pac's 1991 sex tape will NEVER see the light of day ... according to the rapper's family, which has now threatened to SUE anyone who attempts to distribute the footage.

TMZ spoke with a spokesperson for Pac's estate, who was VERY clear, "We will sue anyone who tries to sell a Tupac tape."

The rep insists ... only the estate has the power to authorize the use of Tupac's image for commercial use ... and there's NO WAY the sex tape will ever get the proper approval.

We're told Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, is aware of the tape -- and has told her spokesperson, "Get the legal team ready because [we] will not allow someone to put it out."

The rep tells us ... the estate is trying to figure out who is marketing the tape by attempting to identify the individuals who appear on film, including the leading lady, believing one of them might be the culprit.

READ MORE about the sex tape here
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2011 The Root 100 List of influential African Americans

has published their annual list of influential African Americans.

Their methodology-
For 2011 The Root set out to identify the most influential African Americans between 25 and 45 years of age. We defined influence broadly to include anyone who is shaping our daily conversations with work that matters. To identify and rank The Root 100, we developed a formula that defines influence as the marriage of reach and substance.

To calculate the substance score, our editorial team reviewed what each person had accomplished in the last year. Was he or she leading transformative change, championing big ideas, creating breakthrough art, advancing civic engagement or innovating in business and beyond? If yes, then on a 0-10 scale, that person would get a bigger number.

We checked news, blogs, critical reviews, awards and our own sharp editorial instincts to nail down the substance score.
You can read more about their measurements here

Check out the FULL LIST by checking clicking the graphic below

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jay-Z Bringing the Nets to Brooklyn

Jay-Z will design jersey for new-look Brooklyn Nets

By RICH CALDER-New York Post

Last Updated: 8:49 AM, September 27, 2011
Posted: 1:14 AM, September 27, 2011

He’s not only part-owner of the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets — he’s helping design their uniforms, too.

Rap mogul Jay-Z — co-founder of the hip clothing line Rocawear — is working with Nets brass and Adidas to design uniforms for the team when it moves into the under-construction Barclays Center in Brooklyn next year, Nets officials told the Post yesterday.

Jay-Z and team officials had gathered near the arena construction site (pictured left) to announce that the New Jersey Nets team would be renamed the “Brooklyn Nets.”

Jay-Z is also set to open the 18,000-seat arena in September 2012 with up to three concerts.

Jay Z, Adidas and the Nets are currently ironing out a logo for the Brooklyn Nets and deciding what colors their uniforms should be.

No matter what, the logo will feature Brooklyn prominently because the club wants to tap into the borough’s world-popular brand name, officials said.

The Nets’ current logo (pictured below) features the word “Nets” hovering over a basketball.
Nets logo
“Brooklyn will be involved in whatever we do,” said Fred Mangione, chief marketing officer for the Nets and Barclays Center.

The team’s colors — currently red, silver, white and navy blue — will likely be changed, officials said.

“We will always tinker with things along the way,” Mangione said.

Team officials confided that they briefly considered renaming the team the “Brooklyn Dodgers” — in honor of the borough’s beloved baseball team that fled to Los Angeles in 1957 — but eventually nixed the idea.

Developer Bruce Ratner, who is building the arena and is another part-owner in the Nets, said team officials stayed with the Nets name out of respect to its “loyal fan base.”

He said the Nets, despite being perennial losers in recent years, have a "legacy" that includes two championships in the old American Basketball Association and two appearances in the NBA Finals.

Borough President Marty Markowitz said he was pleased with the team’s renaming, although he did not get his full wish — that the team be dubbed the “Brooklyn Bridges” or “Brooklyn Tudes” — as in “Attitudes.”

“My main issue was that the team had to have ‘Brooklyn’ in its name, so I’m happy,” he said.

The Nets started off in 1967 as the New Jersey Americans in the former ABA before moving to Long Island a year later and being renamed the New York Nets.

The club entered the NBA in the 1976-77 season and a year later, moved to New Jersey.

While reflecting on his 2004 decision to become part-owner of the Nets, Jay-Z said the arena project is especially important to him because he grew up nearby at the Marcy Houses in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Referring to how many concerts he plans to hold for what is expected to be part of a gala, three-week, arena opening in September 2012, Jay-Z said “Maybe one, maybe two, maybe three."

“I sound like LeBron [James] now,” the “Empire State of Mind” rapper then joked, referring to the Miami Heat star’s infamous proclamation that he, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade would win multiple NBA championships.

See video from the press conference below

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Don Cheadle's New Show on Showtime

First Promo for Showtime’s HOUSE OF LIES
Starring Don Cheadle, Kristin Bell, and Ben Schwartz
by Brendan Bettinger
Posted: September 24th, 2011 at 8:06 am

Showtime has released the first promo for their new comedy House of Lies. It doesn’t tell you anything about the show, which centers on “a team of cutthroat management consultants who will do anything in their pursuit of money.” In fact, it’s just stars Don Cheadle, Kristin Bell, Ben Schwartz, Josh Lawson, and Dawn Oliveri in one of those bare, grayish sets designed for promo shoots. But the clip (and Cheadle especially) are so infectiously silly, I got a big laugh out of it. The cast drew me in, but now I definitely want to see more.

Official synopsis: HOUSE OF LIES is a half-hour comedy created, written and executive produced by Matthew Carnahan from the hit tell-all book House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Tell You the Time by Martin Kihn. The new comedy is a scathing look at a self-loathing management consultant from a top-tier firm. Cheadle stars as Marty, a highly-successful and cutthroat consultant who is never above using any means (or anyone) necessary to get his way with and for his clients. Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) will play Jeannie Van Der Hooven, a razor-sharp, Ivy-League graduate who works at Marty’s firm. Co-stars include noted comedian Ben Schwartz (Undercovers) and Josh Lawson (Romantically Challenged) as Marty’s corporate team members; Dawn Oliveri (Heroes) as Marty’s acerbic ex-wife; the legendary Glynn Turman (In Treatment) as his psychoanalyst father; and Donis Leonard Jr. (The Fresh Beat Band) as Marty’s young son. Jessika Borsiczky (Flash Forward) will serve as executive producer, and Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins (Californication, 24) directs and executive produces.

Watch the promo below

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: First found out about this series from the great site Shadow & Act. Having been a fan of Don Cheadle since his excellent work on Picket Fences, I will probably see anything he's in that looks interesting and this concept ESPECIALLY on uncensored cable sounds good ;-)