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By Rahman Dukes
If you ask iconic New York City graffiti artist Phade (better known as Shirt King Phade from the legendary Shirt Kingz) about the current state of hip-hop, he'd more than likely tell you it's alive and breathing and resides in the Bronx, New York.
Whether you agree or disagree, Phade has been around the culture for decades and just like any other passionate hip hop fan is entitled to his opinion. But the difference between Phade and your average fan is Phade has lived the life of a rapper. And his crew, the Shirt Kingz, are his clique.
For those who may not be aware, Phade and the almighty Shirt Kingz carved a name for themselves in hip hop history by hooking up some of the '80s biggest acts with customized clothing. From LL Cool J to Bbd to Biz Markie to Jay-z, you weren't considered »
- MTV News
In 1971 African American film director Melvin Van Peebles had a Richard Pryor moment. Fed up with presenting an acceptable version of blackness for The Man he figured it was time for something more confrontational. Something that would have the early 70's audience leaving the theatre thinking 'fuck yeah'. Essentially, a film that would stick it to The Man. Studios however where unlikely to want to fund such an outing. Having convinced a then relativity unknown group called Earth, Wind and Fire to record a soundtrack, Melvin took the innovative move of releasing the soundtrack in advance of the movie. Not only did this raise capital it also promoted the movie in a way his non existent marketing budget would not have allowed. The film was Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. While arguably not Blaxsploitation as such itself, it paved the way for the birth of the genre. There was a market for confrontational, »
vinyl4giants has a quick interview with composer of the Black Dynamite Ost Adrian "Aj" Younge. The film directed by Scott Sanders and starring Michael Jai White is a homage to classic 70's Blaxploitation flicks and needed a homage soundtrack to suit. Those familiar to the genre will know that it's one where the music is hugely integral. Often the soundtracks were works of a far higher calibre than the films themselves. Legends of funk and soul contributed to and created albums, some of which are amongst the greatest recorded works of all time. You just have to listen to Curtis Mayfield's sublime Superfly Ost once and you'll see what I mean. Isaac Hayes, Bobby Womack and the Godfather Himself James Brown were all to create sonic backdrops for these black action flicks. Brown even made an album for a film that didn't exist, The Payback (Rejected by Larry »
As you have seen, we’ve been closely following the release of DJ Hero, the next step in rhythm gaming from Activision. Today is no exception as the company has now released the full 93 song set list for the game. While all club styled mixes, remixes and mashups, DJ Hero boasts one of the most varied collection of artists in any Hero franchise release.
With everything from the Jackson 5 to 2Pac, Daft Punk to Queen and everything in between, that variety of DJ Hero’s playlist is unmatched, as long as you like mashups and remixes. If you are a musical purist to the extreme, this game isn’t really what you’d be looking for.
- John Carle
Activision already named its headlining talent behind the music of "DJ Hero," but today the company released the names of all 93 mixes that players will face during the game's set list. Featuring extra helpings of Daft Punk and Jay-z, the list includes big names 50 Cent and the Beastie Boys to late legends like DJ Am and 2Pac. Even fans of Weezer and Queen will find something to like, as the samplings come from all over rock and and hip-hop. Check out the whole track list after the jump.
· 2Pac - "All Eyez On Me" vs. The Aranbee Pop Orchestra - "Bittersweet Symphony (Instrumental)"
· 50 Cent - "Disco Inferno" vs. InDeep - "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life"
- Brian Warmoth
Here comes another batch of bite-sized film review nuggets. This round-up of DVD reviews include analysis of immigration stories intersecting in ‘Sin Nombre,’ a fantasy adventure called ‘Inkheart,’ Bernie Macs last movie ‘Soul Men, a scottish folk story in ‘Stone of Destiny and 2 foreign films sure to peak your interest ‘St. Trinians and Sin Nombre‘ all … in 140 characters or less.
Like what you are reading? Check out previous collections of haiku-like cinema explorations.
17 Again shermanscorner: i would never be 17 Again, but the film was surprisingly sweet and well done. friday night date flick. http://bit.ly/22Jurq
ronsuchoplas 17 Again, Zac, meh, he has his fan base, the supporting cast really carried this to make me finish this movie http://ow.ly/oUE5 @movieset
cichlid Inkheart is a good film the whole family can watch. Disappointed in special feats, only one-an excerpt reading http://ow.ly/hv9V
mariab76 Inkheart »
- Kyle Zahar
Gordon Parks and Ernest Tidyman transformed the action film with this charismatic, Chandleresque Brooklyn private eye played by Richard Roundtree, the spiritual father to Foxy Brown, Cotton, The Hammer and many others. One of the first and slickest of the "blaxploitation" films, it was followed by two sequels, a tv series and a recent remake starring Samuel L. Jackson. Isaac Hayes' title song won the Oscar. »
More Twitter-sized DVD Reviews Welcome to round 2 of our Micro Movie Reviews, featuring reviews by people just like you! If you’re curious; the basic idea is we send you a Free DVD and you Twitter a 140 character review (including “@Movieset“). You can find the more detailed instructions on Micro Movie Reviews.
Now on with the Reviews! (Cheer, cheer, rah rah rah!)
ptrleblanc says: Inkheart - fun family adventure w/ gd darkness - sum story lines get lost, gd movie 4 fantasy fans @ http://bit.ly/17AChZ
Dirty Robot reviews: Mother Of Tears is utterly ridiculous & unworthy of Argento’s pedigree, but has lots of crazy gore and a screeching monkey minion!
Elsewhere is a lightweight thriller about the dangers of social networking, dull performances and a weak story. http://tr.im/t6b0 @movieset
blainecreates checks in on: Crossing Over, kinda like Crash with various story lines intersecting but not as good. »
- Dave Olson
Basically, when you’re talking about someone playing The Duke of New York, you’re talking about someone playing Isaac Hayes. He was the embodiment of that character, and he really didn’t seem to be channelling anything other than his own, cool presence. You could just as easily be asking who should be playing Isaac Hayes in a biopic of the musician’s life.
That is, of course, if whoever decides to direct the ‘Escape from New York’ remake plans to make the character much the same as he was in the 1981 original. They could take the character in a whole new direction, and that raises another question entirely.
There is an obvious route to take here. Think of the coolest, bald, black guy in Hollywood. I’m sure a certain, purple lightsaber just lit up in everyone’s head who is reading this. That would be Samuel L. Jackson. »
Stax reissues album that made Soul Man a star
One of the best and most grandiose soul albums ever recorded, Hot Buttered Soul made Isaac Hayes a superstar and changed the face of black pop music for the next decade. Then a prominent songwriter and backing musician at Stax, Hayes was fascinated by traditional songcraft and drawn to the work of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, whose “Walk On By” opens this 1969 album. Rather than heed the song’s concise, compact charms, Hayes explodes it from the center, turning it at first into a symphonic ballad and then a tight jam with The Bar-Kays. “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic” is a sweaty funk workout, and “One Woman” a conflicted ode to monogamy, but it’s the third cover, Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” that blows minds with its 9-minute spoken intro and superlatively heraldic horns. This new reissue includes »
Hollywood henpecker Roger Friedman has filed an “unlawful termination” lawsuit against his former employer, News Corp, for an April firing amidst the company’s pending piracy investigation. The gossiper wrote a review of X-Men Origins: Wolverine after seeing the unfinished workprint copy leaked on the Internet. After bragging about the early look and access to additional illegal versions, Friedman was “terminated” just days later.
He has since been hired by the Hollywood Reporter, who picked up the column when he took his celebrity smear blog freelance, but that didn’t stop Friedman from holding a grudge towards News Corp. The lawsuit filed by his lawyer, Martin Garbus, this week claims the Wolverine angle was a “cover story,” and Roger Friedman wasn’t fired for blatantly stealing and then condoning piracy.
Instead Friedman is full of conspiracy theories about Scientologists plotting to have him removed. According to the gossip, John Travolta »
- Jeff Leins
Memphis, Tennessee has produced some of music’s greatest legends, from Muddy Waters to B.B. King to Isaac Hayes. Oft-overlooked power-pop pioneers, Big Star also hail from Tennessee's other music city, and fans of the band have something new to look forward to. Keep An Eye On The Sky, a complete four-disc boxed set spanning the band’s work from 1968 to 1975, will hit store shelves on Sept. 15. »
We've just finished cutting the trailer for Stand, my new film exploring the Black male experience through history, politics, music and culture. Stand features Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Dick Gregory, Bebe Winans, the late Isaac Hayes and some of my other dear friends as we travel to the birthplace of the blues to talk about and reflect on Black men who "stood" for something in the past and what it means as Black men continue to "stand" for something now. Check out the trailer: For more information on the film, go to www.standthemovie.com »
- Tavis Smiley
Yesterday I had the absolute privilege of watching Escape From New York on the big screen and with a great crowd, courtesy of the Castro Theatre and San Francisco's long-running and uniformly fantastic Midnites for Maniacs program (with an assist from the Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow). This was awesome. What a great movie to watch with an audience that gets it. Because let's face it: seen today (and maybe even seen in 1981 -- I wouldn't really know), Escape from New York is weird. You need a bunch of people who are "in on the joke" -- and who are at the same time aware that it's actually not a joke at all.
Nothing illustrates that seeming paradox -- John Carpenter's patented way of blending borderline kitsch with undeniable badassitude -- better than this wonderful scene from Escape from New York. Having enlisted Ernest Borgnine's Cabbie, Harry Dean Stanton's Brain, »
- Eugene Novikov
Black Moses: 88
Juicy Fruit: 67
One classic and one cult kook
Before South Park and Scientology, the late, great Isaac Hayes was one of the most celebrated but perhaps still oddly underappreciated prime movers in the development of modern R&B. While the most casual listeners may associate him most closely with the theme from Shaft, and while he arrived with Hot Buttered Soul, it was the double album Black Moses that captured him at his most expansive. Offering a lavishly packaged double album instead of a haphazard collection of singles, and audaciously rerecording songs still fresh on the charts when the album was released, Hayes swung for the fences with Black Moses and largely succeeded. Then Jet editor Chester Higgins’ original liner notes capture the tone of Hayes’ ambition—part tongue-in-cheek self-aggrandizing autobiography, part racial commentary, part very real monument to the power of his amazing voice. »
Disclaimer: This article may contain sarcasm; irony and “LOLs” proceed with caution.
The Final Chapter (read Part 2 here)! We have Howard the Duck, Freejack and Shyamalan flicks on the list; these are never good signs. Nonetheless we are bringing it all to you in full-color and in 3-D. (Ed. Note: Due to the economy, 3-D has been dropped and will be replaced by Smell-o-vision — check for your scratch and sniff cards in about 4-6 weeks.) Best Sound went to rage-zombie veterans Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke, leaving Mark Weingarten who worked on Rejuvenatrix in the dust. The Sound Editing section contains one too many references to Ron Silver, and at least two references to a Roger Corman film.
- Heather Buckley
The rags-to-riches Mumbai drama 'Slumdog Millionaire' took the top prize at the 81st annual Academy Awards, with Sean Penn and Kate Winslet earning the top acting awards during a creatively revamped show at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood Sunday night. Click Here for the complete list of winners! Beating out 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' 'Frost/Nixon,' 'Milk' and 'The Reader' for Best Picture, 'Slumdog' was also awarded Best Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Song, Original Score, Sound Editing, Film Editing and Best Director. Upon receiving his Oscar, director Danny Boyle jumped up and down "in the spirit of Tigger" for his children, a promise he made to them years ago, and singled out the people of Mumbai, saying, "all of you who helped us make the film, and all of those who didn't, you dwarf this guy (Oscar)." Winning the top honor of the »
The 81st annual Academy Awards is now history and Slumdog Millionaire was top dog in the winner's circle with 8 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for Danny Boyle. Kate Winslet won Best Actress for The Reader. In the Best Actor category there was a clear upset with Sean Penn winning the prize for playing the gay rights activist in Milk, despite the smart money being on sentimental favorite Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler. Best Supporting Actress was Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The late Heath Ledger was awarded Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight. In a moving and bittersweet moment, his family accepted on his behalf. Refreshingly, Kate Winslet, one of the most brilliant actresses working today, finally learned to deliver a concise and genuinely moving acceptance speech instead of the rambling »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Make this blog item your home page for the rest of Oscar day. Tom O'Neil and Paul Sheehan are blogging live continuously all day. Keep hitting "refresh" for constant updates about what's happening at the Kodak Theatre.
9:06 p.m. — As with all of the past seven Oscars held at the Kodak Theater, the Governors Ball takes place in the adjoining Grand Ballroom which is 25,090 square feet. The menu for the Governors Ball was created by Wolfgang Puck for the fifteenth consecutive year. He promises the return of old favorites like tuna tartare in sesame miso cones and Maine lobster as well as, of course, caviar. And pastry chef Sherry Yard will once more be creating her gold-dusted chocolate Oscars as consolation prizes for those who didn’t get one of the real ones. Music will be spun by Kcrw radio host Jason Bentley who will alternate with The Impulse »
By this point, we're all familiar with "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song" and "Superfly" and "Shaft," we know all about Pam Greer and Fred Williamson and Jim Brown. But the 1970s produced dozens and dozens of blaxploitation films beyond the handful that have come to stand-in for the entire genre. Many were formulaic, some were downright terrible, but a lot were a cut above. These four uniquely superb blaxploitation films, largely forgotten to history, deserve rediscovery by new audiences and fresh eyes.
"Across 110th Street" (1972)
Directed by Barry Shear
Some 30 years before the groundbreaking crime series "The Wire," an unassuming blaxploitation picture covered similar territory with much the same complexity, albeit on a much smaller scale and with significantly fewer critical accolades. Both were shot in real locations with local actors; both draw parallels between the structure and politics of the underworld and the police force. Often in "Across 110th Street, »
- Matt Singer
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