Samuel L. Jackson, Jazmine Sullivan, Jason Derulo To Star In Forthcoming Biopic

Famed Casablanca Records founder and executive Neil Bogart is receiving his own biopic. His son, Tim Bogart, has been carefully constructing the film over the years, and the star-studded cast has been recently announced. Neil promoted and signed artists like Donna Summer, Curtis Mayfield, Joan Jett, George Clinton’s Parliament, Kiss, the Isley Brothers, and the Village People. The record executive’s life was filled with lavish, disco-era parties, but tragically that all came to an end when he died cancer and lymphoma in 1982 at 39-years-old.

According to Deadline, these are a few notable members the cast: Samuel L. Jackson as George Clinton, Kenan Thompson as Motown’s Berry Gordy, Jason Derulo as Ron Isley the Isley Brothers, Jay Pharoah plays WBLS radio DJ Frankie Crocker, D.L. Hughley as Parliament’s Bootsy Collins, Jazmine Sullivan as Gladys Knight, Neil Patrick Harris plays KISS co-manager Bill Aucoin, and a top young singer is about to be set to play Donna Summer. That last role still remains a mystery…for now.

Samuel L. Jackson, Jazmine Sullivan, Jason Derulo To Star In Forthcoming Biopic
Ethan Miller/Getty s
Samuel L. Jackson, Jazmine Sullivan, Jason Derulo To Star In Forthcoming Biopic
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty s

“My father was making $100 million a year at the height Casablanca, but he quote-unquote ‘forgot’ to pay his taxes, and my inheritance amounted to three years at NYU, a Dodge Daytona and the rights to this story,” Tim said. “I was going to protect this with all I had.” Are you looking forward to this biopic?

UMG Kept a Secret List of Masters Destroyed In the Fire — The New York Times Just Published It

Previously, Universal Music Group had refused to disclose any list detailing its losses in the 2008 Universal Studios fire.

Now, the New York Times is releasing it for them.

Late Tuesday, Times investigatory reporter Jody Rosen released a list of more than 700 artists impacted by the 2008 Universal Studios fire.  Those artists were tracked in a confidential list maintained by Universal Music Group, and subsequently leaked.

Rosen wrote the original report on the fire, titled “The Day the Music Burned.”  That report contained the names of 100 artists whose masters were believed to have been destroyed in the blaze.

The latest report adds 700 additional names to that original list.  Appropriately, the follow-up article is titled “Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire.”  Scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll be treated to an exhaustive (and depressing) list of artists who masters were included in the confidential file.

In total, it’s estimated that half-a-million masters and other recorded materials were destroyed in the inferno.

The forced disclosure follows a promise by Universal Music Group chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge to be totally ‘transparent’ to its artists with regards to masters destroyed in the fire.

“So, let me be clear: we owe our artists transparency. We owe them answers,” Grainge stated, while downplaying the actual damages.

Since that statement, however, there’s been little disclosure on the affected masters.  In fact, Grainge’s statement now looks like part of a continued effort to cover up the catastrophic damages.

Perhaps motivated by Grainge’s deflection, more information leaked.

Rosen unearthed the presence of an internal, confidential tracking effort called ‘Project Phoenix,’ one that quickly circulated in the days after the ’08 fire.  That confidential effort was designed to catalog the losses, and seek replacements or duplicates to destroyed versions.

“The names were gleaned from UMG’s own lists, assembled during the company’s ‘Project Phoenix’ recovery effort, a global search for replacement copies and duplicates of destroyed masters,” Rosen noted.

Artists were bucketed into an ‘A’ list and a ‘B’ list, based on their perceived importance.  Rosen explains:

On one list, artists were assigned letter-grade rankings, with higher marks given to those deemed most important. Artists graded “A” include historic figures (Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Muddy Waters, Joni Mitchell) and best-selling acts of the 1980s, ’90s, and ’00s (Belinda Carlisle, Meat Loaf, Weezer, Limp Bizkit, Gwen Stefani, Blink 182).

Captain and Tennille, Chuck Mangione, Whitesnake, Sublime, White Zombie, Nelly Furtado and the Pussycat Dolls [also] received A ratings. Les Paul, Merle Haggard, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Alice Coltrane, Captain Beefheart, the Neville Brothers and the Roots were given Bs.

The article also interviews key artists whose masters were destroyed in the blaze.

That includes Bryan Adams, who says Universal Music Group was mysteriously unable to locate his collection of masters from his ultra-successful album, Reckless.  Adams was attempting to compile a re-release with unreleased tracks and outtakes.

“I called everyone, former A&M employees, directors, producers, photographers, production houses, editors, even assistants of producers at the time,” Adams relayed. “I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I couldn’t find anything at Universal that had been published to do with my association with A&M records in the 1980s.”

Courtney Love, who is now part of a $100 million lawsuit filed on Friday against UMG, had extremely sharp words for the cover-up.  “No one knows for sure yet, specifically what is gone from their estate, their catalog,” Love said.  “But for once in a horrible way people believe me about the state of the music business which I would not wish on my worst enemy.

“Our culture has been devastated, meanwhile UMG is online with cookie recipes and pop, as if nothing happened. It’s so horrible.”

Here’s a quick sampling of the artists listed on the Times’ expanded list of 700 artists:

Aerosmith, the Andrews Sisters, Joan Baez, Chet Baker, Count Basie, Beck, Chuck Berry, Mary J. Blige, Blink 182, Dave Brubeck, Jimmy Buffett, T Bone Burnett, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, John Coltrane, Bing Crosby, Sheryl Crow, Neil Diamond, Fats Domino, Jimmy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Peter Frampton, Aretha Franklin, Judy Garland, Amy Grant, Al Green, Guns N’ Roses, Don Henley, Hole, Janet Jackson, Jodeci, Elton John, George Jones, Toby Keith, Ramsey Lewis, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Louvin Brothers, Loretta Lynn, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meat Loaf, Charles Mingus, Bill Monroe, Wes Montgomery, No Doubt, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Oingo Boingo, Tom Petty, the Police, Sun Ra, R.E.M., Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Steely Dan, George Strait, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Ernest Tubb, Weezer, Kitty Wells, Howlin’ Wolf, Neil Young and Rob Zombie.

The complete list is here (scroll down).

Facebook & Instagram Bring Music Enhancements for Stories Into Brazil

Facebook and Instagram have updated their music-related capabilities in Brazil.

To date, the social media platforms have optimized their music functions for users in more than 40 countries, with Brazil being the latest to receive the enhancements.

Brazilian Facebook and Instagram users can now incorporate music and lyrics into stories and shared videos, including lyrics and music pins on their profiles. They can also use Lip Sync Live, a Facebook feature that, as its name suggests, lets users sing along to their favorite songs — and broadcast and post the corresponding videos without having to worry about their being taken down due to copyright disputes.

Of course, that sounds a lot like TikTok. But then again, a lot of Facebook features are copycats of ideas successfully developed elsewhere.

While Facebook has acquired an abundance of song rights for its Lip Sync Live feature, a relatively small portion of these tracks come from Brazil. Facebook officials have indicated that popular Brazilian music will be incorporated soon, as agreements are still being finalized.

That said, a specific timeline has not been established, and “finalizing” often seems to take a bit longer than anticipated.

These updates have been positively received by Brazilian social-media users, and said improvements are part of Instagram and Facebook’s recent effort to bolster the number and depth of music-related options. Moreover, the updates are likely the first of a long series of music enhancements.

Facebook’s broadened offerings, including live chats, broadcasts, picture sharing, video sharing, shopping, local selling, and more, make Instagram’s core offerings—video and picture sharing—seem less significant. However, both platforms are incredibly popular. Instagram is reported to have roughly one billion active users per month, while Facebook attracts roughly two billion active users per month.

Instagram was founded in 2010. In 2012, Facebook purchased the company for about one billion dollars.

 

Popular YouTuber Etika Found Dead At 29, Lil Nas X Pays Tribute

The entire YouTube community is in a state shock today as it was reported by the New York Police Department that popular Nintendo and Super Smash Brothers streamer Desmond “Etika” Amah was found dead. Etika had posted a since-deleted video to his YouTube channel last week titled “I’m Sorry” and was reported missing immediately afterward. Amah appeared suicidal in the video and apologized to his fans for past actions which had become quite public on Twitter.

Amah had been checked into mental health facilities on two separate occasions but was released shortly after in both instances, according to Polygon. During the weekend, it was reported that his belongings were found alongside the Brooklyn Bridge and that authorities were searching for him. Today, it was revealed that his body was found although there is no ficial cause death.

Etika’s vibrant and outgoing personality was a huge hit amongst his audience. One the people who used to watch Etika was Lil Nas X, who took to Twitter to pay respects to the man who made so many around the world laugh. Wifisfuneral also had some kind words for the late YouTuber.

G-Eazy Drops 3 New Songs on ‘B-Sides’

While he readies a new album, G-Eazy holds fans over with his B-Sides series, consisting of three songs from his current studio sessions that won’t appear on the forthcoming project.

The trio of tracks includes the introspective “Spectacular Now,” where Gerald flexes his vocal chops for one of the first times, while repping his Bay Area roots on the P-Lo-produced “It’s Eazy.” It caps off with a “Bang” on his summer-ready slapper featuring Tyga.

G-Eazy will headline the Rolling Loud festival in his hometown of Oakland this September, and recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of his sophomore album These Things Happen. “5 years ago today I dropped the album that changed everything for me and sent me all around the world, from the bay to the universe,” he wrote. “Love to every single fan who’s been on this journey and supported from the jump! Can’t wait for the world to hear the next one.”

Stream B-Sides below.

Kanye West’s Yeezy Basketball Sneaker Teased With New Photos

Ever since Kanye West made his transition to Adidas, fans have been begging for a Ye-endorsed basketball shoe. Kanye’s Yeezy line has been characterized by his affinity for Adidas’ incredibly comfortable Boost material which has been a highlight the three stripes existence for the better part the decade. Since last year, Kanye has been teasing the aforementioned basketball shoe we’ve all been waiting for with some saying the shoe is going to be called the “Quantum.”

There has been very little information in regards to the shoe’s release although we have gotten a ton teaser photos with a varying degree clarity. Thanks to @de.sneakerz on Instagram, we now have some dope on-foot pictures the shoe which give us a clear view  what it will look like. The shoe seems to be made suede, knit, and mesh materials with white, black, and silver being the main colors. The midsole appears to be infused with Boost which will make it nice and comfortable on-court.

Unfortunately, the posts below don’t give any indication when the sneaker might drop although with more photos coming to the surface, they should be on the way sooner than later.

LeBron James Proclaims His Excitement Over "Space Jam 2" Filming

Just 23 years ago, Michael Jordan starred alongside Bugs Bunny and the rest the Looney Tunes roster in Space Jam. While the film doesn’t exactly hold up, there has been a movement people clamoring for a sequel with some today’s modern NBA talent. Of course, there is no one better to carry the Space Jam torch then LeBron James who is set to be the star  Space Jam 2. We have been reporting on the movie’s development throughout the last few weeks, including the cast and even the court he’ll be playing on.

Yesterday, LeBron had a moment reflection on Twitter and shared just how excited he is about the filming process. You can tell the original movie was something he loved as a kid and hopes to live up to the expectation the first film.

“Man this really just hit me! I’m really shooting Space Jam 2!!” LeBron wrote. “This is so surreal and doesn’t even make sense to me! Where I come from man and what I saw growing up this doesn’t add up to me!! I’m truly grateful and beyond blessed. This is CRAZINESS.”

It is believed that LeBron went to the Los Angeles Lakers so he could be closer to these types Hollywood opportunities. If this is true, it’s great to see those goals coming to fruition.

Drake’s Dad Says He Won $300K Betting On The Toronto Raptors

Hollywood, CA – Drake’s father Dennis Graham had an extra incentive for hoping his son’s hometown team would win the NBA Championship — a $300,000 incentive, in fact.

Drizzy’s dad won three grand after betting on the Toronto Raptors to beat the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.

“I bet $100,000 on the game and I won $300,000,” he told TMZ. “I am the happiest guy in the world.”

When asked if the new NBA Champions should visit the President of the United States or the Canadian Prime Minister, Graham made his suggestion clear cut.

“The Prime Minister,” he said. “Justin Trudeau is a much classier guy than that idiot Donald Trump.”

The Memphis-bred musician also revealed he wasn’t at the Raptors’ historic victory parade with Drizzy because he was busy filming his new television show Fame & Family in California. The premise of the show is Graham interviewing the parents of superstars.

Jalen Ramsey Refuses To Trash QBs Like Last Year: "It’s A Different Me"

Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey won’t be trashing any opposing quarterbacks ahead the 2019 season, like he has done in the past. Prior to the start last season, Ramsey trashed a number QBs around the league including Buffalo Bills rookie Josh Allen, Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck, and Atlanta Falcons signal caller Matt Ryan.

During a recent appearance on Adam Schefter’s podcast, Ramsey was asked to breakdown the QBs he’ll face this year, but he didn’t take the bait.

“I’m not going to do this again but, we do play some good QBs this year, course, but probably the QB I’m most excited for is Nick Foles. I] don’t have to play against him. He is my teammate. He is a great teammate, the few interactions we’ve had has been great. Great man, great player as well. He has nothing to prove to anybody. He’s a Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP. So, I hope he comes out here and he plays free and knows he has the support everybody.”

After Schefter noted, “That’s maturity right there,” Ramsey added, “I’m growing, man. It’s year four for me. It’s a different me. A lot people think they know me, they don’t really know me. But hey, that’s OK.”

T.I. Honors Nipsey Hussle With Inspiring BET Awards Tribute

T.I. has continuously established himself as a voice the people, and an eloquent one at that. Therefore, it’s no surprise that during last night’s BET Awards, he stepped forward to commemorate Nipsey Hussle‘s legacy. “There will never be another Nipsey Hussle,” begins the legendary rapper, donning a crisp white suit. Allowing the audience a moment for applause, he continues. “Ermias ‘Nipsey Hussle’ Asghedom was more than a rapper, a teacher, activist, and philanthropist. He was a revolutionary. His emphasis on the power equity and ownership our art led the charge independence and created a blueprint for up-and-coming artists today to follow.”

T.I. Honors Nipsey Hussle With Inspiring BET Awards Tribute

 Frazer Harrison/Getty s

“He was our blessing and he inspired people across the world while never abandoning the community and culture that raised him,” continues Tip. “It’s been nearly three months since we lost Nip, and many are still discovering how legendary he really was. Man, that’s because Nip wasn’t a clout chaser. Or a social media activist. He was a real one. A true king. Simply concerned with promoting human welfare, uplifting those around him.”

“As a prolific artist his lyrics and interviews are immensely powerful, but his actions spoke even louder,” says Tip, as the camera pans to his emotional daughter Emani. “To anyone following a dream, you may feel alone. But people are watching. Drawing inspiration from how you chase your passion and handle your adversities. Nip proved that your life is your canvas, and your body work is your legacy. As an artist, he was Nipsey Hussle the Great. As a humanitarian, he was a leader well beyond his years. His life may have been cut short, but his canvas bore legacy that will permeate neighborhoods around the world forever.”

Danny Green Says Kyle Lowry’s Grandmother Died During The NBA Finals

Kyle Lowry has been the key to the Toronto Raptors success for the better part the decade and this season, he was finally able to win the city its first NBA Championship with the help Kawhi Leonard. In the Championship-clinching game, Lowry scored 26 points and 10 assists which helped propel the team to victory. While the NBA Finals were a time to celebrate, it was also a time to mourn as Danny Green revealed to Yahoo! Sports that Lowry’s grandmother had passed away during the series.

“The crazy thing is–nobody knew this–he kind did it, he kept it under wraps and nobody knew but I think his grandmother had passed,” Green said. “I meant to send him a text to send him my condolences. Nobody knew about it and he continued to play, and play really well with that probably on his mind, on his back, or whatever. He came out aggressive in the way we needed him to.” 

Lowry had some big ups and downs throughout the Finals, including a missed potential game-winning shot in Game 5 which was ultimately tipped by Draymond Green. Even though Leonard ended up winning Finals MVP, Raptors fans can all agree that Lowry was one the best players on the team in the playfs.

Playing with a heavy heart can’t be easy, so much respect to Lowry for his achievements during such a tough time.

Chris Paul Says He Never Requested To Be Traded From Houston

Chris Paul has denied that he ever requested a trade for a way out Houston. 

On Sunday while speaking with reporters at his Go hoop Day, Paul quickly shut down the rumors. “I never asked for a trade,” Paul declared. “I never demanded a trade.”

He went on to state that he’d be happy to stay on with Houston in the future, only citing his frustrations with being edged out the Finals this year.

“I’ll be in Houston. I’m happy about that. I’m very happy about that. I’m good,” he added.“There’s only one team that wins at the end the year, you know what I mean?… Since I went to Houston, from Day 1, it’s been about winning games. It’s always about winning games.”

Chris Paul Says He Never Requested To Be Traded From Houston

Ezra Shaw/Getty s

While no ficial confirmation has surfaced the situation, Chris Paul and James Harden’s relationship is reportedly on the rocks with insiders saying that there is “no respect at all” between the pair. It would spark rumors that Paul wanted out before general manager Daryl Morey denounced the notion.

“A thoroughly exasperated Daryl Morey said Chris Paul and his reps have never asked to trade him and he will be on Rockets next season,” tweeted Houston Rockets beat writer Jonathan Feigen. “Said he and Harden do not have issues with one another and that he has spoken to both ten this f-season about free agency evaluations, plans.”

2019 BET Awards: The Comprehensive List Of Performers & Presenters

Since issuing a press memo listing the performers for the 2019 edition BET’s annual awards gala, “the list presenters” has now been made accessible to the public, with hours to spare on the clock. Below you’ll find a full rundown every keynote speaker, etc. included in the TV programming. The BET Awards were first established 17 years ago, and have only become more relevant with time. This year’s ceremony will be hosted by Regina Hall, live from the Microst Theater in Los Angeles.

Performers

Meek Mill

Fantasia

DaBaby

Jeremih

Kirk Franklin

Erica Campbell

Kelly Price

Jonathan McReynolds and James Funk Rare Essence

John Legend

DJ Khaled

YG

Cardi B

Migos

H.E.R.

Lil Nas X

Billy Ray Cyrus

Lizzo

Mustard

Lil Baby

City Girls’ Yung Miami

Lucky Daye

Kiana Ledé

Presenters

La La Anthony

Ayesha Curry

Larenz Tate

Amanda Seales

Reverend Al Sharpton

Ryan Destiny

Jacob Latimore

Raphael Saadiq

Mike Colter

Damson Idris

Jodie Turner-Smith

Melina Matsoukas

Taraji P. Henson

Lena Waithe

Morris Chestnut

Yara Shahidi

Marsai Martin

While you await the 8 o’clock start time, why not peruse the list nominees one last time – available here. Unsurprisingly, Cardi B reigns supreme with 7 nominations, followed closely by Drake’s haul 5 commendations. Place your bets!

"Toy Story 4" Crushes Weekend Box Office With $118 Million Dollar Debut

We previously reported on the high expectations tied to Toy Story‘s fourth installment making its way to theatres this past Friday. Estimations underlying the Disney and Pixar helmed film ranged between $150 to $200 million in domestic sales over the weekend. Well, the numbers are in and it is looking fairly good. According to Variety, Toy Story 4 easily topped f the box fice charts by collecting a $118 million dollars revenue in ticket sales across 4,575 North American theatres. Although the number remains significantly below expectations, courtesy franchise fatigue, it is far from a disappointment. Glowing reviews were penned for the film and audiences waited almost nine years since Toy Story 3 to see their favorite animated characters again. 

With consideration the international markets, the newest installment to the franchise brings in a total $238 million dollars. Toy Story 4 is considered to be the fourth biggest launch for an animated movie behind Incredibles 2, Finding Dory and Shrek the Third. Each movie respectively clocked in $182, $135 and $121 million dollars upon their individual theatrical debuts. Box fice prognosticators maintain that Toy Story 4 underperformed, though executives behind the movie believe that a strong word mouth will keep the movie performing well in theatres throughout the summer.

Watch The Game Freestyle Over ‘Old Town Road’

Hot off the release of his new single “West Side,” The Game unleashed a fiery freestyle.

During his visit to the L.A. Leakers on Power 106, the Compton rapper came through like a hurricane, kicking off the 10-minute session with Tupac’s “Can’t C Me.” “Tell Kendrick I passed the torch and I meant it,” he raps. “Your top 10 no match for my top 5 / All you ni**as is lucky / Will Smith after Pac died.”

The “Bad Boy in a Death Row shirt” continued over Royce Da 5’9″‘s “Boom,” where he name checked Lil Wayne, Lil’ Kim, and Lil Pump. Next up was Mobb Deep’s “Quiet Storm,” where he put the Grammys on blast (“Took my little horn and gave that motherfu**er to Missy”) and shouted out Rihanna.

With the 1942 in his system, a drunk Game then went brazy with a freestyle over YG’s “Go Loko,” followed by Mustard’s “Pure Water,” where he shouted out his former G-Unit affiliate 50 Cent (“Shout out to 50 / I owe that ni**a money and he f**k with me”).

After Young Thug’s “The London,” the West Coast veteran capped it off with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” “Dre signed a ni**a / I was fresh out of Compton / He ain’t been back in 10 years till I brought him,” he raps.

Game is now gearing up to release his final album Born 2 Rap and recently dropped his new single “West Side.”