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Hudlin TV / Re: Luke Cage Season 2
« on: September 17, 2018, 03:47:25 am »

I hope that for season three, they can incorporate the African American Day parade into the storylines.  anybody in the NYC area go this year?
I'd like to check it out myself.

Hudlin TV / Re: The Defenders SPOILERS
« on: September 15, 2018, 04:45:25 pm »
made my way through episode six so far.


The Sowande character-- lots of potential, too bad what happened to him. I would have liked to see him become a recurring villain for Cage.  I'm also curious about his history in the Hand, if he ever faced off against one of the black panthers of past eras.

Latest Flicks / Re: White Boy Rick movie premieres this week
« on: September 10, 2018, 04:07:17 am »
I wonder if the filmmakers will try to slip in a line about "there will never be a white rapper from Detroit..." ;)

Matthew McConaughey stars in "White Boy Rick," based on a true story. Warning: The trailer includes profanity and depicts a young teenager involved with drugs and guns.

White Boy Rick preview exclusive

In "White Boy Rick," a new movie set in the 1980s drug world of Detroit, a teenage Richard Wershe Jr. (played by newcomer Richie Merritt) sums up his plight to the feds.

"First, you all got me buyin'," says Wershe, a kid barely old enough to shave. "Now you all got me sellin'."

On Friday, national audiences will decide whether they're buying what filmmakers are selling in this gritty, R-rated drama that tracks the early life of the title character from Detroit, who's recruited at 14 to be an FBI informant and sentenced at 18 to life in prison for a drug crime.

Complicated and controversial, the real-life story that inspired "White Boy Rick" could fill several seasons of a Netflix series. It's a muddled saga that seems impossible to condense into a running time of two hours. Yet in early 2015, there were three Wershe-themed movie projects vying simultaneously to reach the big screen.

How much do you really know about Wisconsin cheese?

Now, after months of buzz, "White Boy Rick" hits theaters Friday. But for its director Yann Demange, the real test is the red-carpet screening Thursday at the Emagine Novi theater.

"It's like when I did ' '71' and the screening that was most important to me, that petrified me the most, was the Belfast screening," says the emerging director — who's considered among the front-runners for the next James Bond film — referring to his breakthrough 2014 drama about a British soldier lost after a riot in the Northern Ireland city.

"The Detroit reaction is what I feel most nervous about. I hope they feel I've captured the authenticity. ... I'm waiting with bated breath. We'll see."

"White Boy Rick" stars acting newcomer Merritt as Wershe, the teenage boy whose legend was created by local TV and print journalists looking for grabby crime stories that could be covered with maximum flash.

Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey portrays his father, Richard Wershe Sr., who died in 2014 in real life. Here, he's a loving but ineffectual figure who pours his ambitions into his son and compares their struggle for survival in the Motor City to being lions on the Serengeti.

Rounding out the cast are Bel Powley as Rick's troubled sister, Bruce Dern and Detroit native Piper Laurie as his grandparents, RJ Cyler as his friend Rudell (Boo) Curry, Jonathan Majors as gang mentor Johnny (Lil Man) Curry,and rapper YG as Leo (Big Man) Curry.

(Left to Right) Matthew McConaughey and Richie Merritt in "White Boy Rick" (Sept. 14).
(Left to Right) Matthew McConaughey and Richie Merritt in "White Boy Rick" (Sept. 14). (Photo: © 2018 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

They're all based on real people. Other characters were drawn as composites, including the FBI agent played by Jennifer Jason Leigh and the Detroit police detective played by Tyree Henry of FX's "Atlanta."

Some of the key players in "White Boy Rick" weren't even aware of the real-life Wershe's story before joining the film. "I had never heard of it before," admits McConaughey, describing his initial thoughts. "This is a wild-ass ride! This kid did what? And became an informant for what?"

Metro Detroit, however, has been following the saga for 30 years, or roughly the same amount of time that the real Wershe spent behind bars for possession with intent to deliver more than 650 grams of cocaine.

After being denied early release several times, Wershe, who's 49, was finally paroled in 2017 by the State of Michigan. He is now serving time in Florida on a separate charge involving a stolen car scheme. He could be free in a few years.

Wershe's story is complex, convoluted, and controversial. In the big picture, it's entwined with issues like poverty, race, the war on drugs and the purpose of punishment. Over the past decade, the perception has grown that he was used by the government and abandoned by authorities when the drug dealing they introduced him to led to his downfall — the viewpoint of the 2017 documentary "White Boy."

No wonder Hollywood saw potential for a narrative that could be Netflix's "Narcos," HBO's "The Wire" and the Starz drama "Power" rolled into one.

In late 2014 and early 2015, the story of "White Boy Rick" got national attention when three different film projects about him collided.

More: Meet the cast of Detroit-set drama 'White Boy Rick'

Richard Wershe Jr., left, stands with his attorney,
Richard Wershe Jr., left, stands with his attorney, William Bufalino II, in Recorder’s Court in Detroit in January 1988. (Photo: William Dekay)

Poster boy for the drug epidemic
In the era surrounding his 1987 conviction, Wershe, aka White Boy Rick — a nickname popularized by sensational media coverage — was depicted by the media mostly as a baby-faced gangster who wore fur coats, dated Mayor Coleman Young's niece and had ample swagger.

"He became the poster boy for the 1980s drug epidemic in Detroit which tore our city down. ... The character of White Boy Rick that the public consumed far, far exceeded what he did as a criminal," says writer Scott Burnstein, producer of the "White Boy" documentary and a consultant for "White Boy Rick."

According to Burnstein, that has undermined Wershe's chances for freedom for the last three decades.

Burnstein played a major role in bringing Wershe back into the metro Detroit spotlight starting in 2008. His reporting for the Oakland Press helped flip the script on Wershe's image by bringing out the details of his role as a teen FBI informant before his conviction, plus his cooperation in prison on other criminal investigations.

Journalists like WDIV-TV (Channel 4) investigative reporter Kevin Dietz and former Detroit TV reporter Vince Wade also amplified the fact that Wershe's situation was a lot more complex than it seemed.

As coverage of Wershe grew — and Wershe's own voice emerged in TV and radio interviews — interest began to accumulate in a potential movie.

Burnstein says Eminem considered playing Wershe in the mid-2000s in what would have been a follow-up to his 2002 hit "8 Mile." And around 2009, Burnstein received a few cursory phone calls from Mark Wahlberg's team exploring the idea.

Ishmael Ali (left), known as Milwaukee rapper IshDARR, appears in the new film "White Boy Rick" out Sept. 14, featuring Raekwon Haynes (center) and Richie Merritt in the title role.
Ishmael Ali (left), known as Milwaukee rapper IshDARR, appears in the new film "White Boy Rick" out Sept. 14, featuring Raekwon Haynes (center) and Richie Merritt in the title role. (Photo: Scott Garfield)

In October 2014, the race to make a White Boy Rick movie started in earnest with the news that Universal had optioned a lengthy Wershe profile written by journalist Evan Hughes for an online publisher, the Atavist. Director Joseph Kosinski, who's directing the "Top Gun" sequel, was attached to the project.

In February 2015, it was revealed Studio 8 had acquired a script from brothers Logan Miller and Noah Miller. Then in April 2015, yet another White Boy Rick project was in the news. This one came from Protozoa Pictures, the company of director Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan") and producer Scott Franklin ("Jackie," "Black Swan"), and had a script by Andy Weiss.

Producer John Lesher ("Birdman"), who had read the initial Miller brothers script and sent it to Jeff Robinov of Studio 8, recalls how his project already had Demange attached as the director when he found out about the competing one being developed by Protozoa Pictures.

"In fact, they had ... called Yann and said, 'Why don't you direct it?' And he said, 'I already am (doing a White Boy Rick movie),' " says Lesher with a laugh.

While Lesher's project had secured Demange, Protozoa's project had Wershe's cooperation. "I was incredibly impressed with him as a person," says Franklin, who met Wershe in prison. "His positivity and positive energy (were) just mind-blowing."

Rory Cochrane, left, and Jennifer Jason Leigh are FBI
Rory Cochrane, left, and Jennifer Jason Leigh are FBI agents dealing with a 14-year-old confidential informant (Richie Merritt) and his blue-collar factory-worker father (Matthew McConaughey). (Photo: SCOTT GARFIELD/COLUMBIA PICTURES/STUDIO 8)

As the Universal Pictures project faded from contention, the other two projects saw one logical choice. "It made sense for all of us to join forces and work together," says Franklin.

 "We've all known each other for a long time, so it was very natural for us to start working together. It was an arranged marriage, but it ended up being a great one," echoes Lesher.

Merging the two scripts was a lengthy process that involved bringing in two additional writers: Scott Silver ("8 Mile," "The Fighter") and Steve Kloves (the "Harry Potter" series). It was Demange, however, who had the vision for the movie's ultimate theme.

 "I didn't want to get roped into making a sort of miscarriage of justice, free-this-guy type film," says Demange, who felt as if he had seen enough informant movies.

Demange saw "White Boy Rick" as, above all, a father-and-son saga set amid the kind of poverty that crushes dreams. He wanted to explore that bond, while also finding the relevance to today in issues like economic inequality, racism and the continuing impact of drugs and addiction.

He says visiting Wershe in prison in Manistee helped cement the concept and shape the movie's tone.

When Wershe spoke about his family, "then I was leaning in," he recalls. "Then I felt like, 'Oh, I'm falling in love with this' and I'm feeling like I have the story to make the film work."

Richard Wershe Jr. enters the courtroom of Wayne CountyBuy Photo
Richard Wershe Jr. enters the courtroom of Wayne County Circuit Judge Dana Hathaway at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. (Photo: Brian Kaufman, Detroit Free Press)

In November 2016, reports surfaced publicly that McConaughey was in negotiations to play Richard Wershe Sr., a character who wants to be a buddy to his son when what his children really need is a strong parent.

Landing McConaughey was relatively easy compared to the casting of White Boy Rick, a sprawling search that took more than a year.

"We looked through all the young actors in Hollywood that are on television and in movies and tried to see if there was someone in that community who could do it," says Lesher.

The filmmakers simultaneously did a nationwide talent search, holding casting calls in metro Detroit and other cities and scouring gyms, community centers and predominantly African-American high schools in several cities for possible candidates who weren't professional actors.

Demange says it was important to him to find someone with authenticity who could relate to Wershe's life.

Merritt was 15 and a sophomore when he was asked to come to the principal's office at Dundalk High School in Baltimore to meet the film talent scout. He recalls being late for school that day and signing in at the office when "the lady behind the front desk" recommended him to the scout for the part.

The soft-spoken teen is described in production notes as a blue-collar, inner-city kid who came from a broken home. During a phone interview, he is not forthcoming with rehearsed anecdotes about himself, like some actors are. The one time he really laughs is while talking about the retro baby-blue tuxedo he wore for a wedding scene. "That was slick," he says.

Asked about his similarities with Wershe, Merritt says, "I'm not going to say I'm a troubled kid, but I'm not going to say I'm a good kid. I don't go around starting trouble. I don't go around looking for trouble."

Bruce Dern, Matthew McConaughey, Bel Powley, Richie
Bruce Dern, Matthew McConaughey, Bel Powley, Richie Merritt and Piper Laurie star in the upcoming "White Boy Rick." (Photo: SCOTT GARFIELD/COLUMBIA PICTURES)

Merritt remembers working for a couple of weeks with an acting coach in Baltimore before being sent to Los Angeles to meet McConaughey and test how they related together on screen.

"Richie just captivated me," says Demange of the decision to hire someone who'd never acted before. "It was scary. It was a risk. We embraced it."

For McConaughey, working with a complete newcomer was all about calibrating his performance to the natural, unpracticed style of Merritt.

"I'm like, 'OK, here we go.' I'm not me, Matthew, the actor. I cannot act. I have to get through to a real young man who's a non-actor.This is going to be a bull ride. It's going to be a really exciting new adventure."

Cleveland stands in for Detroit
Shooting began in March 2017 and lasted about 45 days, a schedule lengthened by the shorter work days required for Merritt as a minor. Production took place mostly in the Cleveland area, a choice swayed by the fact that Ohio had film incentives (and Michigan had eliminated its incentive program in 2015).

Certain cast and crew members came to Detroit in mid-March for a couple of days to shoot exteriors.

"I was very sad because I really wanted to spend the money in Michigan and wanted to do it there," says Demange, who had seen some of Detroit's blighted areas when he was here for the filming of a 2015 Nike ad, "The Future is Fast," that featured the Detroit Lions. "I used one of the locations (from the ad) again in the film. When I was (in Detroit), I was really struck quite emotionally."

During the Detroit leg of production, McConaughey was able to get to know Wershe by visiting him in prison. "We talked about family. We talked about me being a father. We talked about my kids. We talked about his grandkids."

McConaughey, who has done research with prisoners in the past for roles, says it stuck out to him that Wershe admitted he broke the law.

"Ninety-nine out of a 100 say they're innocent. Richard has never claimed innocence, which is one of the great things about him. He's like, 'No, no, no, I committed a crime and I was no choir boy.' Very honest about that. Now at the same time (he's) saying, 'How big was I rolling? Well, not as big as they made me out to be.' "

On the set, McConaughey helped mentor Merritt without coddling him. "Our relationship, between me and Richie over two months — and it's a long haul — was between a hug of encouragement and a kick in the backside. It lived in between those two. Always, it was a really fun and adventurous place for me."

McConaughey laughs when he says Merritt wasn't intimidated by him. In fact, the young man really hadn't heard of the star.

"He didn't know me from John Doe. Unh-uh. No, no, no," says McConaughey. "Part of what was really great about the casting of this young man is he didn't have a reverence for Matthew McConaughey, the actor. He didn't have a reverence for being in a damn Hollywood movie."

McConaughey sounds as if it was rather exhilarating, in an unexpected way, to work with Merritt. "He was happy to be there, but there was a 20 percent chance every night that, I was like, that little SOB may hop on a bus and go back to Baltimore and say 'Eff you guys,' which was great! Because he wasn't shy in front of the camera. He was honest."

Merritt says he was only slightly nervous to begin filming. "I ain't never let that get to me, to be honest," he says. "Growing up, I was always in front of cameras. People were always recording me. I was always doing little goofy stuff, always posting videos online Instagram, Facebook."

He took quickly to the controlled chaos and fast bonding of a movie location. "Everybody was really cool with each other. No arguments. No talking behind people's backs. It was really like a big-ass family. Everybody got along."

McConaughey stressed to Merritt that filming "was an endurance test" and connected with him through their shared love of family.

"I think he's in a really good place with himself and his family now and that's in large part (due) to the experience I think he had. ... He's got a great heart. He's really a love bug, you know what I mean? At the same time, he's street."

Merritt says "White Boy Rick" has changed his life. "It shows me: Don't get in trouble. Don't do it. Don't do nothing to jeopardize what you want," he says, dropping his laid-back facade and sounding enthusiastic about plans for the future. "I'm definitely going to act more."

As Demange anticipates the movie's release, he speaks frankly about the difficulty of compressing Wershe's life into one movie.

Richie Merritt is done with the hard part of making his acting debut in "White Boy Rick."
Richie Merritt is done with the hard part of making his acting debut in "White Boy Rick." (Photo: SCOTT GARFIELD/SONY)

"It's the bio-pic syndrome," he says. "It's the hardest thing in the world. ... How do I skim three or four years and make it feel like a cohesive film ... with a cohesive, comprehensible emotional through lines?"

He says the FBI informant angle alone could have taken up a whole film.

"It was a miniseries, really," says Demange of the many aspects of Wershe's real life. "(It was) the challenge of adapting a true-life story, but one where you don't want to just take liberties because you have a moral and ethical obligation — because the guy's still in jail — to make sure you explain certain pivotal points as to why he's there, how it all happened and then you've obviously got to be entertaining ... and entertaining's the wrong word, but you have to be engaging in the effect."

Says Demange, "It's a big American story."

Read more:

Who is White Boy Rick? 7 facts about the 14-year-old FBI informant

'White Boy Rick': See the cast and the real-life people they play

The makers of "White Boy Rick" haven't been able to arrange for Wershe to see the movie in his Florida prison. Franklin says he speaks to Wershe a couple of times a week.

Burnstein, who has an e-book debuting this week on his 10 years of Wershe coverage, says he thinks the real Richard Wershe has one hope for the movie.

"I think he's keenly aware that the story you're going to see on-screen isn't 100 percent married to the life he led. He's aware it's a Hollywood fictionalized version of his teenage years."

Says Burnstein, "He wants people to understand that although he takes ownership for what he became, the groundwork, the foundation was laid by a government exploiting a 14-year-old kid."

Contact Detroit Free Press pop culture critic Julie Hinds: 313-222-6427 or

'White Boy Rick'
Rated R for language throughout, drug content, violence, some sexual references, and brief nudity

Opens with some Thursday evening screenings; opens wide Friday

Comic Reviews and Spoilers / Re: Deathstroke
« on: September 06, 2018, 02:21:30 pm »
so will this be a graphic novel TPB soon?  Hopefully turned into an animated movie?

Feel The Funk / Lauryn Hill writes essay about "Everything"
« on: August 29, 2018, 05:00:27 am »
Please Lauryn, put out some new studio albums!  Even Sade puts out stuff more frequently, lol.. it's all love..  :-* :-* :-*

’ve remained patient and quiet for a very long time, allowing people to talk, speculate, and project, while keeping my nose to the grindstone fighting for freedoms many folks aren’t even aware matter. The arrogance of presumption that allows someone to think that they could have all the facts about another person’s life and experience, is truly and remarkably… presumptuous.

People can sometimes confuse kindness for weakness, and silence for weakness as well. When this happens, I have to speak up.

I apologize for the delay in getting this posted, I was late in hearing about it. I understand this is long, but my last interview was over a decade ago…

‘Addressing Robert Glasper and other common misconceptions about me (in no particular order)’
By Ms. Lauryn Hill

-It’s not completely informed, but he’s entitled to his perception. Context certainly helps though.

-You may be able to make suggestions, but you can’t write FOR me. I am the architect of my creative expression. No decisions are made without me. I hire master builders and masterful artisans and technicians who play beautifully, lend their technical expertise, and who translate the language that I provide into beautifully realized music.

-These are my songs, musicians are brought in because of the masterful way that they play their instruments. I’m definitely looking for something specific in musicians, and I absolutely do hire the best musicians I can find. Not every band had that particular ‘something’ I was looking for. That doesn’t make them bad musicians, just different than what I needed in that particular moment.

-The Miseducation was the first time I worked with musicians outside of the Fugees who’s report and working relationship was clear. In an effort to create the same level of comfort, I may not have established the necessary boundaries and may have been more inviting than I should have been. In hindsight, I would have handled it differently for the removal of any confusion. And I have handled it differently since, I’m clear and I make clear before someone walks in the door what I am and am not looking for. I may have been inclusive, but these are my songs.

-I have come across the occasional musician who thinks they already know what I want, feelings and egos can be easily bruised when you tell them they actually don’t. I am never trying to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings btw, but when people insist that they know you and don’t, you may have to be equally as firm to demonstrate otherwise.

-I am paying for a service, and looking for something SPECIFIC, which isn’t up to someone else’s interpretation or opinion. I have my own idea of what works for me. That shouldn’t offend.

-And I definitely don’t like to fire anyone. It did take me meeting a lot of people over a number of years to find the right musicians, but my current band has been with me for a long time, the newest members probably 2/3 years, some as long as 7/8 years now. I was looking for a similar natural chemistry with new musicians that I’d had with the Fugees and Miseducation bands. I’d literally grown up with some of those musicians. That isn’t easy to find.

-In 2008, I had only a young man helping me and my Mother, after disbanding my former support staff. No idea why any musician would have had knowledge of what I was being paid, not sure what he’s saying is accurate. Don’t have the details or recollection of cutting the band’s pay in half. If fees had been negotiated and confirmed without my knowledge, I may have asked for them to be adjusted. But I would never just cut a musician’s pay arbitrarily unless I had a legitimate reason. There are artists who do cut pay though, James Brown was notorious for docking musicians if they did something he didn’t like, I’m sure there are others.

-It was necessary for me to reestablish trust and cultivate a new environment. I was looking to challenge myself artistically. I was also openly challenging music industry norms. I’d left ‘the machine’. With ‘it’ went some polish, but the cause we were fighting for, creative integrity, was worth far more than a little polish to me.

-When you’re a popular artist or public figure, people can sometimes forget that you’re hiring them to perform a service, and that you’re not the one there to entertain THEM. I didn’t scream or yell. Maybe I didn’t provide the experience that a musician may have wanted or expected during that time, but I was straight-forward, direct, and about the business at hand.

-Making my art is a labor of Love, but it’s still labor, and can be labor-intensive at that. If a musician was looking for a cushy job filled with the same trappings I was purposely weaning myself from, we wouldn’t have been on the same page anyway. Make no mistake, addiction is a common snare laid to dismantle the integrity of artists. My environment, at that time, operated more like a rehabilitation clinic than an after-party.

-I don’t think most people, perhaps not even some celebrated artists, are aware of the battle it takes to be an artist and remain true to what you really think. I don’t even ‘practice’ small talk, so I’m never confused with someone who can be seduced. There are traps all around, what could look like a successful career in entertainment today, could be an addictive lifestyle of convenience attempting to control you tomorrow. I set the tone with every band that working for fame and accolades is a different walk than fighting for personal integrity and making art that doesn’t compromise itself for money.

-I’m confused as to why such a principled musician, who thought I ‘stole’ from his friends, would show up to work for me anyway. 🤔 If that was hypocrisy or opportunism instead of genuine interest, it would further explain why an artist would feel the need to put his or her guard up.

-No matter how incredible the musicians who play with me are, MY name is on the marquee. The expectation to make it all come together is on me. The risk and the financial losses are on me. Hence, MY VIBE, though not the only consideration, is the priority. Few people actually know what this road is like, but many want to judge and comment, having never done it. Try doing what I’ve done yourself. If nothing else, you will gain some insight into and respect for my process.

-During the time in question, I also believe I was playing a lot of new music with controversial content. FOR ME, rehearsal was about readying myself for the battle I knew I was entering into for simply not allowing a system to pimp me. If I was on edge, I had good reason to be.

-Perhaps my seriousness and militancy in the face of tremendous resistance was misinterpreted as meanness, or that I was unloving or uncaring, when my true intent was to protect. I wouldn’t be the first Black person accused of this. I don’t think of Harriet Tubman’s skills as those of a hostess, but rather her relentless dedication to helping people who wanted out of an oppressive paradigm. #IGETOUT

-People also unwilling to ‘play the game’ might have found that environment refreshing. Straight talk isn’t devoid of Love, it’s just devoid of bullsh#t.

-And just to clear up an old urban legend that somehow people still believe, I do not hate white people. I do, however, despise a system of entitlement and oppression set up to exploit people who are different. I do loathe the promotion and preservation of said system at the expense of other people, and the racist and entitled attitudes it gives rise to. The lengthy history of unfairness and brutality towards people of color, especially Black people, has not been fully acknowledged or corrected. The expectation is for us to live with abuse, distortion, and deliberate policies, meant to outright control and contain us — like we’re not aware of our basic right to freedom. I resist and reject THESE ideas completely. Like many Black people, I work to reconcile my own generational PTSD. I do my best to Love, pursue freedom in body, Spirit and mind… and to confront. To repress everything in the name of ‘getting along’ is to deny our right to healing. It’s an ugly, distorting and complicated history at best. We’ve been shaped by it for better or worse. I just choose not to pretend that it’s not there in order to maintain public approval and gain economic advantage. My true white friends and colleagues and I discuss these schemes and machinations, and the distrust that people of color would naturally have toward such a system and towards those who agree with it. We don’t run from those conversations, we run into them, which is why I can call them friends and colleagues. Within these relationships I can be my complete self, and not a splintered individual/soul repressing the truth about generations and generations of abuse.

-There were lots of issues both personal and in the world of entertainment during that period that needed resolve. I was definitely going through a significant transition. I no longer felt safe.

-There’s an entire album about that, it’s documented and called Lauryn Hill MTV Unplugged. For some, the Unplugged album provided useful insight during dark times, gave important context on some real but hidden issues, and helped people going through personal struggles, because I’d exposed myself in such a raw and vulnerable state.

-Who are you to say I didn’t do enough? Most people are probably just hearing your name for the first time because you dropped MINE in an interview, controversially. Taking nothing away from your talent, but this is a fact.

-The Miseducation was my only solo studio album, but it certainly wasn’t the only good thing I did.

-I was also a member of the Fugees, another groundbreaking, multi-platinum selling group, who bridged social and cultural gaps, and were ambassadors of hip-hop all around this planet. We laid important groundwork upon which an entire generation of artists and musicians still stand. We broke through conventions and challenged limited world views every time we played.

-The song To Zion gave encouragement to women during challenging pregnancies. There are children who were given a chance at life because their Mothers experienced moral and emotional support through this song.

-What about the image of Black women in hip hop? When exposure and sexualization of the Black female body was the standard, SOMEONE stood up and represented a different image entirely, giving a generation of young women options and alternatives of self-representation. #AMNESIA

-And let’s not forget that I am a mother of 6…

-Not only have I been instrumental in pushing forward the culture of live music in hip-hop for decades now, but I’ve been traveling with and employing a large band for many years, despite the economic challenges in doing so. Others have followed in my footsteps, seeing the value of live music.

-Show me an artist working now who hasn’t been directly influenced by the work I put in, and I’ll show you an artist who’s been influenced by an artist who was directly influenced by the work that I put in. I was and continue to be a door opener, even if the blind don’t see it, and the prideful are too proud to admit it. I lived this, you watched this and heard about it.

-97.9 The Box, feel free to not play my music if you agree that ‘I haven’t done enough.’

-I never told anyone not to look me in the eye, that may have been something someone said assuming what I wanted. However, I would understand why an artist would say that. It’s about reaching a level of vulnerability while making or playing your art, and not wanting to worry about being examined while you’re in that process.

-There are plenty of people, I’m sure, who THINK they know me. This can happen when you do anything that people Love or feel they can relate to. Their perception of me, however, doesn’t make it my reality. Sister Act II is a movie. Rita Watson is a character I played…in a movie, for those confusing that with real life.

-And yes, Ms. Hill was absolutely a requirement. I was young, Black and female. Not everyone can work for and give the appropriate respect to a person in that package and in charge. It was important, especially then, for that to be revealed early.

-I adore Stevie, and honor Herbie and Quincy, who are our forebears, but they’re not women. Men often can say ‘I want it done like this’ and not be challenged. The same rules don’t always apply for women who may be met with resistance. When this happens you replace that player with someone who respects you and the office you hold.

-My approach to making music is non-traditional, possibly non-linear, and more a product of my heart, soul, and experience gained through doing, than something I was taught in a formal school setting. Not much different than the genre of hip-hop itself.

-I never held myself out as some accomplished guitar player, I play to articulate better to seasoned players what I want. It’s an instrument I learned without any real lessons or instruction. I play in an unorthodox manner and use it as a writing tool. Couldn’t or didn’t tune my own guitar? That sounds like an assumption.

-I take rehearsal seriously, I take performance seriously, I take my art seriously. My particular preparation process suits me. To each his or her own. My goal is to feel confident and free on stage.

-I don’t think my process is for everyone, which is why band selection is so important. It’s not just about how well someone plays, but also their attitude. I’m not offended when people say it’s not for them, no more than they should be offended when I say this doesn’t work for me.

-Auditioning, btw, may have nothing to do with how good a musician is. If a musician isn’t accomplished, he or she wouldn’t have been called. An audition or meeting could be about whether we vibe well, whether they understood my particular musical vernacular or direction at the time. I could have a jazz beast on keys, who couldn’t necessarily play reggae or some other musical style I also incorporated into my performances.

-My sound is eclectic, I’ve been influenced by a wide variety of music. Like language, music isn’t always easily translatable. Someone could be a great player, but lack the ability to capture the feel or groove of a particular style.

-I’m attracted to musicians that are open and excited to try new things. When people think they already know what needs to be known, and aren’t interested in exploring what I’m into, that’s fine, but it doesn’t work for my band.

-A fair weather band is a complete impracticality, a liability even. I’m expected, through my art, to pour out the depths of my soul. Some days that’s easier than others. If the crew of people supporting me aren’t built for that walk, they shouldn’t be there. #Realtalk. Some people vibe well together, some don’t. It’s ok. Ignorant patriarchy is a b#tch though,

I could speak volumes…

-My standards are too high, and my process too idiosyncratic, not to work with people who really want to be there. When I don’t have that, I keep searching until I find them.

-I remix my songs live because I haven’t released an album in several years. There’s a ton of backstory as to why, but there’s no way I could continue to play the same songs over and over as long as I’ve been performing them without some variation and exploration. I’m not a robot. If I’d had additional music out, perhaps I would have kept them as they were. I didn’t, so I revise and rearrange them according to what I’m feeling in that moment. This way, my performances are heartfelt and authentic, not me just going through the motions. I can’t imagine why that would be a foreign concept to anyone who appreciates jazz.

-And the myth that I’m not allowed to play the original versions of my songs is…a myth (anyone who’s seen my current show knows this).

-There can also be an energetic or emotional transference when I perform, and it can be heavy/weighty at times. As an artist, I’m tasked with bringing a different vibration into the space that transcends this. Not an easy gig but an important one. I can imagine there are people who value this process and don’t mind waiting a little if it means experiencing something inspired.

-Me being late to shows isn’t because I don’t respect my fans or their time, but the contrary, It can be argued that I care too much, and insist on things being right. I like to switch my show up regularly, change arrangements, add new songs, etc. This often leads to long sound checks, which leads to doors opening late, which leads to the show getting a late start. This element of perfectionism is about wanting the audience to experience the very best and most authentic musical experience they can from what I do.

-I reject being pigeonholed or pinned down by someone else’s uninformed concept of me. I’m my own person, free to explore my potential like everyone else.

- Where I am in one chapter of my life isn’t necessarily where I’ll be in the next chapter. I reserve the right to be an honest artist in those moments and not a fabrication, fake or phony version of myself, because that’s what someone else likes.

-I don’t owe anyone self-repression. Some fans will grow with me, some won’t and that’s ok.

-Life is to be lived, it’s not a full-time performance you put on for others, so people won’t have bad things to say about you in interviews.

-Hip-hop was born through people who didn’t necessarily have traditional musical training, the best tools, and in some cases even instruments, but found a way to express themselves despite that. My art exists because it has a will to exist, like hip hop.

-The album inspired many people, from all walks of life, because of its radical(intense) will to live and to express Love. I appreciate everyone who was a part of it, in any and every capacity. It wouldn’t have existed the way that it did without the involvement, skill, hard work, and talents of the artists/musicians and technicians who were a part of it, but it still required my vision, my passion, my faith, my will, my soul, my heart, and my story.

Feel The Funk / Re: Fats Domino dead at 89
« on: August 29, 2018, 04:58:57 am »
Oh, now I remember...  :D

Jayne Mansfield

isn't that Mariska Hargitay's mom?

General Discussion / Any Peeps Heading to Dragon Con?
« on: August 27, 2018, 02:40:25 pm »
Any Peeps Heading to Dragon Con?

This will be my first time going.  I'm not totally sure of what to expect, I just plan on browsing as I find interesting stuff to see or experience there--

I'm wondering why it was only eight counts that Manafort was found guilty of.  Were the rest not guilty or mistrials?

without spoilers-- I haven't seen it yet-- what are the issues that people have criticisms of-- are they mostly to do with the story, the acting, or the more technical aspects of the film?

Feel The Funk / RIP Aretha Franklin
« on: August 16, 2018, 08:11:39 am »

I'll try to post more local stories as they happen-- her father's church New Bethel Baptist will be the center of lots of attention in the days to come.  I guess the funeral and local memorial will be announced in the coming days.  And even though she was never a Motown artist I suspect that there will be an event held at the museum on W. Grand Boulevard soon.

Latest Flicks / Re: Death of Superman (video)
« on: August 08, 2018, 11:46:37 am »
the cartoon has "after credits scenes" ?  Oh-kay...  well, you're watching this at home, so I guess you'll see them for sure.

So I'm forgetting how often this was done before in cartoons?  I'm thinking I enjoyed the previous version, though it clearly had certain narrative changes.

Technology / Re: GAMERS THREAD
« on: July 29, 2018, 04:57:44 am »
Friday, July 27th, 2018

Female Basketball Players Are Coming to ‘NBA Live 19’
by Stephanie Fogel

Basketball fans can soon create female players in “NBA Live” for the first time in the franchise’s history, publisher Electronic Arts announced on Friday.

When “NBA Live 19” launches, people can make a female character in the Create-a-Player mode and compete in the Streets World Tour, Live Events, Live Run, and more.

“The inclusion of female players is an important step toward leveling the playing field, providing gamers increased opportunities to express their unique individuality and create a reflection of themselves while competing in the game,” EA said.

“This new feature follows last year’s introduction of the WNBA’’s full roster in the ‘NBA Live’ franchise, also a video game first.”

Would You Like To Know More?‘nba-live-19’/ar-BBL9gbV?ocid=spartanntp
I still don't have a PS3, PS4, XBox1, etc.

I haven't played any of these basketball games in years.  How difficult are they to engage with?  can you let go or trade players at will?  (I'd want to build a Pistons team with Lebron..)
Are there codes needed to unlock a lot of teams and players?  do you have to pay extra money for download material?

Latest Flicks / Re: Ant-Man and the Wasp
« on: July 25, 2018, 02:25:30 am »
Fun!  A friend said this one is pitched for a younger audience than the first one and they aren't wrong.  All the science stuff is pretty silly, but it doesn't matter.  They got the first superhero family in the movies now.  Pretty interesting. 

I also wonder if Bill Foster has a son....I know what I would do with him.

I also want TI to get powers.  I guess that's on me.

If TI could be a take on any Marvel B or C list character with powers, who would you choose? (And why?)


Dave (and Luis and Russian buddy)  could easily be given some helpful, non-lethal powers, not sure what they could be.  they should also be brought into the comics!!  The comics!!   Come on, now!!!

In the DC world, I wouldn't mind seeing him as Gangbuster, if you're going with B-C list heroes.  Beyond that, if you were to have Mister Terrific introduced to the movies, separate from the TV guy, why not? Or you could "remix" John Stewart to fit TI, hey, might as well roll with that!  Also, the Jason Rusch Firestorm if they were to cast a little older (I wouldn't mind seeing him arguing with a dude that nobody can see)..   On the Milestone side of things, I'd love it if he were to play Wise Son hint hint...

Latest Flicks / A remake of Enter the Dragon
« on: July 24, 2018, 04:13:33 am »
uh oh.. internet breaking time.

So who would they even get to play the Bruce Lee role?

If they do remake this, then I say go with the "original" plan to have Jim Kelly survive until the end.  (Have him be from Detroit and film his "backstory" segment here!!! "tryin' to set me up! booeeee!!!")

*****************************************************Director David Leitch, fresh off the success of Deadpool 2, might have found his next action vehicle. Leitch is reportedly in early talks to direct a remake of Enter the Dragon.

The original Enter the Dragon was released in 1973. It has since become one of the most important and influential kung-fu movies of all time. The film starred Bruce Lee as a Shaolin martial artist who takes part in a martial arts tournament, partly because he’s forced to help bring down a crime boss, but mostly to get revenge for the death of his sister.

Still, Leitch’s invlovement isn’t a done deal. According to Deadline, the director is still in early talks to join the project.

RELATED: Enter the Dragon Filmmakers Reflect on Bruce Lee’s Most Famous Role

Enter the Dragon was a massive success at release, becoming one of the first martial arts breakout hits globally. Tragically, Lee died just before the release of the film, at the height of his fame.

The prospect of remaking such an iconic film is a risky one, but Leitch has a solid history with the action movie genre, not just with his previous two films (Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2), but also as the co-director of John Wick. He’s also a former stuntman and action unit director to boot.

Other directors like Spike Lee and Brett Ratner have previously been approached to direct an Enter the Dragon remake, but it sounds like Leitch might actually get the chance.

Latest Flicks / James Gunn bounced from Guardians 3
« on: July 21, 2018, 05:27:03 am »

I wonder just who is going to end up as the director now?  Gunn was obviously a major creative force on the Guardians films.. (who were his script collaborators?)..

Off the top of my head, I figure after this "dies down" (especially since this was apparently instigated by alt-right trolling) maybe a few years from now, Gunn might get involved with another Marvel project for film or TV.

Last week, a number of years-old comments made by James Gunn, in which the writer/director made off-color jokes about topics including rape and pedophilia, surfaced online. Though Gunn apologized for his comments, it was announced the next day that Disney had severed all business ties with him, including his current job writing and directing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

While Gunn subsequently released a statement in which he took full responsibility for his comments, and that he accepted and understood Disney’s actions, one of his GotG stars has a different stance. Dave Bautista, who portrays Drax in the popular Marvel franchise, released a brief statement on Twitter last night in support of his friend and director. What’s more, he blatantly condemns the decision to fire him.

RELATED: James Gunn Apologizes For Old, Offensive Jokes About Rape & Pedophilia

“I will have more to say but for right now all I will say is this,” Bautista tweeted. “@JamesGunn is one of the most loving,caring,good natured people I have ever met. He’s gentle and kind and cares deeply for people and animals. He’s made mistakes. We all have. Im NOT ok with what’s happening to him”

Gunns comments had been pulled from the filmmaker’s now-deactivated website, were shared on Twitter by supporters of President Trump, and broadcast to a wider audience by alt-right provocateur and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who used them to bolster his claims of a “pedo network operating in Hollywood.” (“It’s still 3 am in California,” he wrote. “Disney is for an interesting day, as is San Diego Comicon, where James Gunn is scheduled to speak this afternoon.”)

RELATED: James Gunn Takes ‘Full Responsibility,’ Accepts Disney’s Guardians Decision

Later in the afternoon, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn release a statement this afternoon, saying, “The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him.”

Gunn had recently completed a draft of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which had been expected to begin filming in January in Atlanta, in time for a 2020 release.

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