Monday, January 31, 2011

TV Color

Social Studies

TV Color
By Vicent Williams

Published: September 15, 2010

In some ways I feel sorry for Regina King. When she wrote her pre-Emmy column in The Huffington Post lamenting the lack of representation by minorities among the nominees, I saw her point. It is a little ridiculous that, in 2010, only 53 non-white actors have ever been nominated, much less won, an Emmy in the 62 years of the award. Also, I know that, as someone who has worked in the television industry her whole career, King has a certain investment in the industry recognition. But seriously? The Wire, The Best Show on Television Ever, never won an Emmy and, to hear creator David Simon tell it, a great deal of that had to do with the mostly minority cast. And The Cosby Show, the comedy that saved NBC, was in the top-five rated shows for seven years of its original eight-year run and caused a cultural revolution, yet never won an Emmy for the acting. When it comes to people of color and complaining about television, you might as well spit into the wind.

First of all, there just ain’t that many black, brown, yellow, etc. folks on TV. What do you got? If you’re talking about the WB and the CW, it’s pretty much exclusively antiseptically scrubbed, interchangeable, post-Disney Channel twentysomething white people that, frankly, creep me out a little bit. But, y’know, I admire their honesty. They don’t even pretend, unlike the various major network CSI/Law & Order random-crime procedurals that sprinkle in a person of color as a supporting character. And I do mean “a,” ‘cause you damned sure won’t get two folks on the same show that often. Like, Flash Forward was nearly unwatchable, but I was fixated on the relationship between Gabrielle Union’s and John Cho’s characters because it was an Asian dude and a black woman, and jeez, when’s the last time you saw that on TV? Forget the dearth of nominees, the first challenge King has is trying to find some folks who could get nominated.

The second big problem with complaining about the Emmys is finding some performances that don’t, well, suck. You can play “find the fly in the buttermilk” with all the secondary and background characters on the various series, but how much can you stand out when you’re the Medical Investigator/Sassy Secretary/Neighbor that shows up every couple of episodes? I mean, you got the David Simon stuff, but apparently, there’s some kind of blood feud between that man and the Emmys. I’m re-watching The Wire, and I just saw Stringer Bell’s “40-Degree Day Speech” last night and marveled at the fact that Idris Elba was never nominated for an Emmy. So I wasn’t that surprised when the sublime work of Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters in Treme was ignored this year. And then, of course, there’s the Tyler Perry stuff. Look, it is what it is: A lot of black folks love it, but it’s not very good.

Ironically, that’s who King needs to call. Tyler Perry’s shows suck, but he’s shown Black Hollywood how to do the damn thing. I don’t like to make a practice out of spending other people’s money, but I always wonder why other dudes don’t do what Tyler Perry did. Will Smith has a production company, but why doesn’t he straight build a studio in Atlanta? Spike Lee is always talking about how hard it is to get funding for his projects; well, why don’t he and, I don’t know, his cousin Malcolm build an actual Lee Joint somewhere and just create stuff in-house, nab a distribution deal, and keep it moving?

If I ruled the world, besides loving all the girls and wearing black diamonds and pearls, I’d get Denzel Washington and Halle Berry and Morgan Freeman in a room and get them to build a super studio somewhere in the middle of North Dakota, or, like, Detroit! Can’t you buy a hundred acres of land in Detroit for $9? Then I’d get an array of directors like Charles Stone III, Julie Dash, Justin Lin, Barry Jenkins, Christopher Scott Cherot, H.P. Mendoza, and, hell, Matty Rich, and just let them go to work. Do like Perry and keep the cost low using the studio sets and unknown or up-and-coming actors. If they can’t score a distribution deal with TBS (and, frankly, I don’t know how that would happen if a Smith or a Washington got involved), go around ‘em. Between YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, and a host of other options, you don’t necessarily need TV to get your joint out. I found out about Donald Glover through his comedy shorts with his troupe, Derrick, a few years before he was on Community. Oh, the things I would do if I ruled the world . . . there would be fire and pain and your God would not hear your screams but, boy, the television I would make.

Imagine if all those crappy movies they play on BET were good? I love Motives, Motives 2, and the collected ’90s canon of Shemar Moore as much as the next guy, but wouldn’t it be cool to see a series of small-budget films by Kasi Lemmons? Or, instead of another Tyler Perry’s Fill-in-the-Blank Vaguely Inspirational Buffoonish Sitcom, Lee took the rights to Sucker Free City after Showtime turned it down and just produced the show himself? I feel for Regina King, and I empathize with her frustration, but ultimately she’s talking to the wrong people. She should have written that same letter, but she should have sent it to some friends of hers in the industry who could potentially do something about it.

You can see exactly what Regina King's editorial 'The Emmys: As White As Ever' said and read comments here

Monday, January 24, 2011

Beyonce possibly making film with Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood to Direct 'A Star Is Born' Remake With Beyonce to Star

7:21 PM 1/20/2011 by Borys Kit - The Hollywood Reporter

Clint Eastwood is in early negotiations to direct the long-gestating remake of A Star Is Born for Warner Bros.

Eastwood and his producing partner Rob Lorenzo will likely produce along with Bill Gerber, Jon Peters and Basil Iwanyk.

Warners has long been trying remake the movie, with Eastwood's due to be the fourth incarnation. This latest one has had director Joel Schumacher and Nick Cassavetes among those hopping on and off the helmer's chair while Will Smith and Russell Crowe have orbited leading roles.

The allure of the dramatic story of a young artist who marries a fading star, with her career flourished while his fades cannot be denied. Will Fetters wrote the current draft, which spins the scenario into the music world. This time it's a young singer who falls for an older rock star.

This new incarnation is being developed as a starring vehicle for Beyonce (above left) and Warners has for some time been trying to find the male lead.

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: I guess Beyonce chose this over a Sister Act remake. I put "possibly" in the title because as the article states "Clint Eastwood is in early negotiations to direct". "Early negotiations" does not mean he IS going to direct. As stated above "This latest one has had director Joel Schumacher and Nick Cassavetes among those hopping on and off the helmer's chair " even if he DOES sign on to direct he may still leave the project later. I think that Beyonce has shown promise as an actor and can only benefit from Eastwood's direction.
Related Post-
Jay-Z Tops Best Sellers List and Gets $2M Gift from Wife

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Tribe Called Quest film debuts at 2011 Sundance Film Festival

Sundance 2011: 'Beats, Rhymes & Life' premiere turns emotional

January 23, 2011 - Los Angeles Times

Saturday’s premiere for "Beats, Rhymes & Life"–- Michael Rapaport’s Sundance documentary about the seminal New York hip-hop quartet a Tribe Called Quest –- was thronged with music industry insiders and rap stars, not your usual constituency for a Park City, Utah event. Conspicuously, audience members were seen downing beer inside the Temple Theater (yes, it's part of a synagogue) on a wider scale than at any other screening this correspondent has witnessed in six festivals’ worth of coverage.

"Hip-hop in a temple –- nowhere else but Sundance," commented senior programmer David Courier in introducing the film.

But the event took a strikingly emotional turn during the question-and-answer session afterward that left attendees visibly moved and resulted in a standing ovation.

The joyful and often hilarious 95-minute film traces the career arc of a Tribe Called Quest –- that is, bandmates Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad -- from its humble Queens, N.Y. origins to the pinnacle of rap stardom. To the jazzy boom-bip of vintage ATCQ tracks (that have not been even slightly diminished by age), the movie also tackles more somber subject matter, vividly illustrating the internal power struggles, egocentrism and battles of will that ultimately resulted in Tribe’s demise in 1998 –- the depths of which even the group’s longtime listeners may have never known.

Along the way, though, "Beats" provides a primer on the so-called golden era of hip-hop, placing Tribe within a late '80s/early '90s continuum of positive MC-ing that also includes such major names as De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers. Exhaustive interviews with a constellation of rap stars –- Pete Rock, the Beastie Boys, DJ Red Alert, Large Professor, Common and Monie Love among them -- explain how a Tribe Called Quest became a musical pioneer, its innovations shaping the sound and defining the parameters of modern hip-hop.

"Me, Kanye [West], we wouldn’t be here if not for Tribe albums,"multi-platinum selling hitmaker Pharrell Williams says in the movie.

After Rapaport's two-decade run as an actor -- he got his professional start at Sundance in 1992 with the film "Zebrahead" -- "Beats, Rhymes & Life" marks his debut effort as a director. A lifelong hip-hop head and longtime admirer of ATCQ, Rapaport explained after the screening that he had been inspired to take on the project after seeing the band regroup to perform in 2008.

As the story goes, Rapaport got stuck in a moment and couldn’t get out of it: Backstage at a show at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre, he saw Tribe in a light that the filmmaker likened to seeing "Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin hanging out in one of those old rock photos." As well, he found encouragement to direct from a certain A-list actor who was also backstage: Leonardo DiCaprio. "You should do it,"Rapaport recalled the "Titanic" star's telling him.

But the warts-and-all nature of the project has not sat well with all of the bandmates. After seeing an early version of the film, Q-Tip forced the director to make changes to the film by threatening to withdraw his support from the project (that process will be detailed in a Calendar section story later this week). Rapaport made alterations -- installing Q-Tip as a producer on the film in the process –- but the resulting film has done little to aid the uneasy peace that prevails among ATCQ members who have reunited several times since 1998 to perform tours and do international shows.

Although such rap stars as Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson from the Roots and Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys were in attendance at the premiere, three-quarters of the members of a Tribe Called Quest were notably absent.

After the screening, Rapaport introduced the only Tribe member to visit Utah for Sundance, Phife Dawg. The MC grew tearful while answering an audience member's question: What was your motivation for getting involved with this film?

"I wish the rest of them were here,"Phife said, after resting his head on the lectern. "They don’t understand. I’ve been listening to you guys’ responses throughout the movie. Q-Tip has no idea how many people love him. When he was up there cracking jokes, yo, I almost pissed my pants!"

He continued: “You guys were dying of laughter. He don’t see that.... He’s like, 'Yo, man, I don’t know, man. I don’t know.' I just wish they were all here to witness how much love you showed this movie.”

[Update: Q-Tip, Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad issued a statement about the film on Saturday evening: "We hope that the film's perspective conveys our love for hip-hop culture. We could not attend Sundance, but we want to express our love and appreciation for the support that we have received in advance of the film's premiere tonight. We hope that it is well received."]

Phife –- who is shown battling a debilitating case of diabetes in the film, undergoing a kidney transplant with his wife as a donor -- grew philosophical about his group's lasting cultural influence and then turned somewhat hopeful for more Tribal unity in the event "Beats, Rhymes & Life"screens at the Tribecca Film Festival later this year.

"We’re 40 years of age. Well, I don’t look 40. But this is the time to reap the benefits and really enjoy,"said Phife.

"I wish they were here," he added: "Maybe they’ll make Tribeca."

The audience rose to their feet with thunderous applause.

-- Chris Lee

Related post-
A Tribe Called Quest Clears Up Controversy About New Documentary

Related Link-
Read a review of the film here

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Marlon Wayans on playing Richard Pryor

Marlon Wayans IS playing Richard Pryor. The Los Angeles Times did an article about Marlon taking the role. Below is an excerpt.

When it was announced that Marlon Wayans and not Eddie Murphy would be portraying Richard Pryor in the long-discussed biopic of the comedy giant, the news was greeted with Internet jeering. Wayans wasn't surprised when he read the disparaging comments -- you can't hang your star on films like "White Chicks" and "Little Man" without consequences.

Read the entire article at the link here

In my previous post this is what I said-

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: I think Marlon is one of the most (if not THE most) talented of the vast Wayans clan. I've seen him do drama (Requiem for a Dream) and he was pretty good. I would like to see what he does with the role.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spike Lee Defends Himself Against Criticism-Again

In local speech, Spike Lee accuses his accusers of double standard

Filmmaker defends himself against criticism from Italian-American groups

January 18, 2011

In a speech Tuesday at a college in Naperville, filmmaker Spike Lee (pictured above left) said the criticism of his visit by two local Italian-American groups is a clear example of a double standard.

"They said my films portrayed stereotypical images of Italian-Americans," Lee said. "But this is the oldest trick in the world. When the subject matter (of a film) is racism, they accuse you of that. They belittle your work. If one of my films deals with race — 'Oh, he's racist!'"

Last week, two Italian-American groups criticized North Central College administrators for inviting Lee to speak at the school during its week of celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The groups said Lee's films, including "Do the Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever," stereotyped Italian-Americans.

During his speech, Lee read racist quotations from movies made by Italian-American directors, such as "The Godfather," "Goodfellas" and "Casino" — many which used the N-word. These films, Lee said, portrayed stereotypes or used racial slurs against African-Americans.

"In no way am I saying these directors are racist," Lee said, referring to a group that includes Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. "All of these are great films — except for one or two. And for the most part, these scenes describe actions between Italian-Americans and African-Americans, and they're not considered stereotypical images. Why the disconnect?"

Lee asked why it was acceptable for these Italian-American directors to have their characters portray race and racism in America while he is criticized for doing so.

"Why do we have two different set of standards?" Lee asked. "Why is the football field 100 yards for them, and we have to do 150?"

Lee had one more piece of advice for his Italian-American critics.

"Those guys need to protest 'Jersey Shore,'" he said, referring to the hit reality show on MTV that shows a group of young Italian-Americans partying and generally acting up. "That's what they need to do."

-Related posts
Another Spike Lee Joint joins the National Film Registry

Spike Lee-Tyler Perry-No Fued

Brooklyn Week-Spike Lee

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

50 Cent makes $8.7 over Twitter Last Weekend

Report: 50 Cent Hauls In $8.7 Million Via Twitter Over the Weekend

By Jett Wells - AOL Popeater
Posted Jan 11th 2011 07:16PM

50 Cent made a lot sense, financially, on Twitter over the weekend. According to the New York Post, the rapper saw the value of his 30 million shares in a penny-stock company increase by $8.7 million after sending out a series of tweets urging his 3.8 million followers to invest, which sent the price of the stock skyrocketing (relatively speaking).

The penny-stock company also owns TV Goods, a small marketing company ran by former 'Shark Tank' star Kevin Harrington. The Post even goes as far to call H&H a "money-losing venture," but once 50 Cent started telling his Twitter followers to invest, the company's stock rose from 10 cents to 39 cents.

The stock opened at 41 cents on Tuesday, reports The Huffington Post.

50 Cent "received 30 million shares of H&H in a private placement last October, including a series of warrants granting him the opportunity to cash in as the stock rises: at 15 cents, 25 cents or -- no kidding -- 50 cents," according to the New York Post.

One of the catches is that the company is selling the star's trademarked sunglasses, Sleek by 50, ensuring 50 Cent equity in the company. He also used the marketing of his sunglasses to sell the stock to his followers, according to

"HNHI is the stock symbol for TVG, Sleek by 50 is one of the 15 products this year. If you get in technically I work for you. BIG MONEY," 50 Cent tweeted, according to screen shots on mediabistro, but later removed from his page.

Along with this and a flurry of other promotional tweets, 50 finally decided to back off toward the end of the weekend.

"Ok ok ok my friends just told me stop tweeting about HNHI so we can get all the money. Hahaha check it out its the real deal," 50 Cent reportedly tweeted.

Despite all of 50 Cent's recent success, the Post suggests H&H's long-term future doesn't look like a healthy investment since it currently sits at $3.3 million in debt and lost $1.3 million in the last quarter.

Cool Black's Mad Commentary: Say what you will about 50, but he seems to be an astute businessman. Concurrently, I refused thus far to jump on the Twitter bandwagon...maybe it's time to rethink that decision. @CoolBlackTrying2MakeThatDough?

Realted Post-
2010 Hip Hop Cash Kings

Jay-Z and Kanye West: The timeline of partnership

Kanye West And Jay-Z: A Timeline To Watch The Throne
Two of rap's undisputed hip-hop kings began drafting the blueprint for their upcoming joint LP more than a decade ago.

By Jayson Rodriguez - MTV News

Jay-Z and Kanye West are undoubtedly hip-hop royalty, so it's only fitting the pair titled their forthcoming joint effort Watch the Throne. The credits between the two justify the name: multiple Grammy nods, millions of sales and trend-setting moves. The standout rappers kicked off their project with the release of their first single "H.A.M." first thing Tuesday (January 11), and now, MTV News looks back at the pivotal moments that led to this event.
"Izzo (H.O.V.A.)"
When Kanye met Jay: In 2001, the upstart producer powered Hov's breakout hit from his classic LP The Blueprint and, in the process, reignited (along with Just Blaze) the soul-sample movement reminiscent of hip-hop's Golden Era.

Chaining Day

It's the Roc!: After providing hits for everyone on Roc-A-Fella's roster from Beanie Sigel to Cam'ron, 'Ye took his talents from behind the board to in front of the microphone, as he joined the label as an artist — and got a shiny new necklace to commemorate the occasion.

"Diamonds From Sierra Leone" Remix
Shining side by side: Yeezy wasn't exactly a natural fit for the Roc — his prep-inspired look didn't jibe with the hustler's ethos projected by the crew — but on this rumbling remix, which was released amid the Jay-Z/ Dame Dash split, 'Ye moved to the forefront and proved to be one of the label's biggest acts.

The Blueprint 3
Respect: With West having ascended to superstar status in his own right, Jay-Z brought in the Chicago MC/producer to helm the majority of his 11th studio album. It was an undeniable acknowledgement of 'Ye's gifted musicianship and continually growing prowess.

Watch the Throne
The rulers: West holed up in a Hawaii studio to work on his most recent album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but before he wrapped up the project, he relocated to New York for a residency at the Electric Lady Studios. There, he launched his "G.O.O.D. Fridays" sessions, which West said inspired him and Jay to put out an EP that has evolved into an eagerly anticipated full-length album.

On January 11, just a few minutes after midnight, the pair dropped their much-anticipated single "H.A.M." on Facebook. Produced by Virginia native Lex Luger, the track is the first from 'Ye and Jay's forthcoming joint LP, Watch the Throne.

*Related posts

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  • Jay-Z's Empire 2010

  • Kanye West ‘Fantasy’ Review…sort of

  • Jay-Z on the Howard Stern Show November 2010

  • Jay-Z Albums and Commercial

  • Jay-Z: The Blueprint III REVIEW

  • Jay-Z-Kingdom Come REVIEW

  • 2010 Hip Hop Cash Kings

  • Brooklyn Week: Jay-Z

  • Jay-Z Tops Best Sellers and Gets $2M Gift from Wife

  • Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Golden voice Ted and Antoine Dodson debut new song

    Ok I lied. There is no song…yet, but now that I have your attention…

    For more information about her you can click the link here

    Pray for her. Pray for her family. Thank you.

    April 22, 2011
    Unfortunately Phylicia Barnes was found deceased. Read more at the Baltimore Sun here

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Confessions of a Video Vixen-Book Review

    Review originally published January 6, 2006 6:44 PM


    Glass vases filled with marbles crashed all around us as he began tossing linens from the bed. As the marbles scattered, we laughed in unison ... I remember the exact moment that I first laid on my back for him ... My legs were wrapped around his waist and just before his body was to merge with mine, I noticed his upper right chest. On it was a tattoo with the words "Pain is Love."

    Confessions of a Video Vixen is the widely anticipated memoir of Karrine Steffans, the once sought-after sexy siren who appeared in the music videos of multiplatinum hip-hop artists such as Jay-Z, R. Kelly, and LL Cool J. A top-paid video dancer, Karrine transitioned to film when acclaimed director F. Gary Gray picked her to costar in his film A Man Apart, starring Vin Diesel. But the movie and music video sets, swanky Miami and New York restaurants, and trysts with the celebrities featured in the pages of People and In Touch magazines only skims the surface of Karrine's life.

    This memoir -- part tell all, part cautionary tale -- shows how Karrinne came to be the confidante of so many, why she kept their secrets, and how she found herself in Hollywood after a life marked by physical abuse, rape, and drugs -- all before she was twenty-six. By sharing her emotionally charged story, she hopes to shed light on an otherwise romanticized industry.

    I recommend this book, but it is nothing spectacular. Her horrible childhood, and it was horrible, seems almost cliché. Maybe I'm a cynic, but if you heard one story of being whipped with some object you've heard them all. The worst tales come from her relationship with old school rapper Kool G Rap. It really details how a person can humiliate and control another human being.

    The book goes onto to detail the many, and there were many, sexual relationships or just encounters with famous people. If you are looking for some explicit details, sorry you'll have to buy some porn. LOL. She doesn't get into any explicit details about the sexual encounters, but she does detail the situations.

    Of course you want to know whom she mentions in the book and here they are in alphabetical order:



    •DR. DRE



    •JA RULE



    •MERLIN SANTANA ("Romeo" from The Steve Harvey Show)

    •P. DIDDY






    She was so "plentiful" I may have missed a couple of people, but that is the gist of the celebs. The ONE person she does not mention is a rapper she named "Papa", who helped her out tremendously.

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    Television network ratings 2010

    2010's over — but for the broadcast networks, December marks only the halfway point of a season-long campaign to capture viewers. Before the ratings race starts up again next week, New York magazine's Vulture is taking a look at where each of the Big Four broadcasters stands at mid-season.

    In ratings order the networks are below. Click their logos to read the related article on that network.

    CBS #1

     ABC #2

    NBC #3

    FOX #4