Hip-Hop Legends Eric B. & Rakim to Reunite for 2017 Tour, Album Reissues

Eric B. & Rakim will reunite for the first time in 24 years when the legendary hip-hop duo embark on a 2017 tour. (Waring Abbott/Michael Ochs Archives)

Eric B. & Rakim will reunite for the first time in 24 years when the legendary hip-hop duo embark on a 2017 tour, Eric B.’s representative, Louis “Uncle Louie” Gregory, confirmed to Rolling Stone Saturday. “Back by popular demand,” Eric B. adds.

In addition to the tour, Gregory says the duo will look to remaster all four of their albums alongside filming new videos for classic tracks like “I Ain’t No Joke” and “Paid in Full.” While there are currently no plans to record new material, Gregory says the legendary group is taking it one step at a time.

“All too often we embrace our icons only after it’s too late,” Gregory tells Rolling Stone. “By having such an important group come together now, it’s an opportunity for parents and their kids to go to a show together and see music that created the foundation for what many of today’s artists were built upon.”

The genesis of the reunion began in July when Eric B. attended Rakim’s headlining benefit set for the Universal Hip Hop Museum in Newark, New Jersey. It was the first time the duo was in the same place for years. “They just started talking and organically reconnecting over time and realizing that they needed to do this,” Gregory says.

The surprise announcement seeped out earlier this week when the verified Eric B. & Rakim Twitter teased, “It’s official. You heard it here first. We are back.”

On Saturday morning, the Twitter feed brought news of the reunion tour, with the duo tweeting “Preparations are under way for #EricBandRakim’s return. It’s been a long time…” and asking where the Eric B. & Rakim tour should “jump off”; New York, Las Vegas, London and Australia were the options provided.

Gregory said that the current plan is a worldwide tour to start next year. He admits it’s too early to ascertain venue sizes, but the duo are looking into playing select festivals as part of the tour.

Eric B. & Rakim recorded four classic albums together – including their influential 1987 LP Paid in Full and its 1988 follow-up Follow the Leader – before splitting up in 1993. Rakim, who inspired an entire generation of rappers, including Nas and Jay Z, embarked on a solo career without reconnecting with his former DJ and partner.

To read full article, go to: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/eric-b-rakim-to-reunite-for-2017-tour-album-reissues-w446291

Additional reporting by Jason Newman

High School Soccer Player Reuben Nsemoh Awakes From Severe Coma Speaking Fluent Spanish


Teen Reuben Nsemoh (CREDIT: Fox News)

article by  via vibe.com

Reuben Nsemoh was unable to speak Spanish until he woke up from his coma.  Nsemoh, who attends Brookwood High School in Georgia and has 3.6 GPA, is the goalkeeper for his soccer team. During a game last month, the 16-year-old athlete was kicked in the head by a player when diving for the ball, which resulted in a coma for three weeks.

The teen jock, who was never able to speak Spanish before the accident, gives credit to his friends who always spoke the language around him. “My friends would always talk to me in Spanish and would teach me,” he said.

Nsemoh said he hopes to return to soccer as soon as he is fully recovered. His coach refuses to put him back on the field unless he wears a helmet. Recovering at home he expressed how hard life is for him since the accident. “Sometimes I feel like I’m not here, but I am,” Nsemoh told WSB Radio.

The incident has been extremely hard on Nsemoh’s family as well, due to an extensive medical bill of $200,000. Hopefully, their GoFundMe will aid in some of the medical costs.

Tyler Perry’s “Boo! A Madea Halloween” Tops Tom Cruise’s ‘Jack Reacher 2’ at Box Office with $27.6 Million


Tyler Perry in “Boo! A Madea Halloween” (PHOTO COURTESY OF LIONSGATE)

article by Brent Lang via Variety.com

It was a battle of the sequels at the multiplexes this weekend, as “Boo! A Madea Halloween” narrowly edged out “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” to claim first place at the domestic box office.

The latest film in the long-running Madea series racked up $27.6 million. Comedian Chris Rock may be entitled to a percentage of the gross. Creator Tyler Perry was inspired to take his pistol-packing grandma trick-or-treating after Rock’s comedian character in 2014’s “Top Five” joked that his latest movie, a passion project about a slave revolt, was going head-to-head at the box office with “Boo! A Madea Halloween.” What was once intended as satire eventually became a seasonally appropriate reality.

“This isn’t the end of the series, it’s just the beginning,” said Jeff Bock, box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations, who noted that Perry also scored with 2013’s “A Madea Christmas.” “There are so many holidays left. There’s Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, and he hasn’t even done a Thanksgiving one yet.”

Don’t look for “Boo!” to end up in the Oscar race or on many reviewers’ “ten best” lists, but the Halloween comedy is a hit for distributor Lionsgate and reaffirms Perry’s star power. Despite being routinely derided by critics, the film series has an extremely loyal fan base. Collectively they’ve earned nearly $380 million. The latest Madea cost $20 million to make, and attracted a more diverse crowd. Typically the films have an audience that’s between 80% and 90% African-American, but this installment’s crowd was only 60% African-American, with the rest of ticket buyers made up largely of Caucasians and Hispanic movie-goers.

“The film crossed over and it expanded the audience,” said David Spitz, co-president of domestic distribution at Lionsgate. “Madea is such a beloved character and the timing helped. There are not many comedies in the marketplace right now and Halloween is right around the corner.”

To read full article, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/box-office-madea-halloween-edges-out-jack-reacher-2-with-27-6-million-1201898150/

Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Productions Signs Deal With Skydance Media, Sets “Apollo Park” as 1st Series

Michael B. Jordan attends the Opening Celebration Of CATCH LA on September 17, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Michael B. Jordan attends the Opening Celebration Of CATCH LA on September 17, 2016 in Los Angeles. (photo via eurweb.com)

article via eurweb.com

Michael B. Jordan has moved his explosive film career into the executive suite.

The actor has signed a multiyear first-look film and TV production deal with Skydance Media to launch his own shingle, Outlier Productions, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jordan has tapped Wynn Wygal to serve as the company’s vice president.

“Michael is an incredibly gifted actor and storyteller whose proven track record on both the big and small screen together with his boundless ambitions make him an ideal partner for us at Skydance,” Skydance CEO David Ellison said Wednesday in a statement. “We are so excited to team up with Michael and Eric on ‘Apollo Park,’ a riveting sports drama about courage, perseverance and family.”

Outlier’s first TV project under the deal is the scripted drama “Apollo Park,” which revolves around a young basketball player’s rapid rise to professional fame and the effects of his success on his family and community back in inner-city Detroit.

Eric Amadio, whose FX drama “Snowfall” was just picked up to series, co-created “Apollo Park” with Jordan and will write the potential series as well as executive produce alongside Jordan. Evan SilverbergKenny Goodman and Skydance’s Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross will also executive produce.

“I love telling true, modern stories and ‘Apollo Park’ — an underdog tale about a very real and very heroic hustler who defies stereotypes and thrives against great odds — has long been a passion project of mine. Eric and I are excited to join forces with the incredible creative team at Skydance to share it with the world,” said Jordan, who grew up playing basketball for his high school team in Newark, N.J. “I’m also very eager to start this new chapter in my career by launching my production company and I am thrilled to have Wynn join my team.”

British Racer Lewis Hamilton Cruises to Victory at United States Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton (photo via rye-house.co.uk)

article by Samuel Reiman via foxsports.com

Formula One racer and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton cruised to his seventh win of the season on Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, TX. He now sits 26 points back of his teammate Nico Rosberg. This is his fourth win in five starts at CoTA and the 50th of his career.

The Brit started from pole position and beat Rosberg into the first corner. He never looked back.  Rosberg, meanwhile, had a more eventful race, as he lost second spot to Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo in Turn 1.  Rosberg wasn’t able to get the spot back until the middle of the race under a Virtual Safety Car period.

The Virtual Safety Car had been deployed after Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen had parked his car with a mechanical issue on track. This hurt Ricciardo as he had already pit ahead of the Virtual Safety Car period, while both Mercedes drivers had yet to make their second stop and so were able to pit without losing too much time.

Verstappen had already been having a race to forget, as he had came into the pits not too long before his retirement, mistakenly thinking the team had called him in. They hadn’t, and so were not prepared for his stop, costing the Dutch racing driver a lot of time.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen also hit trouble in the pits. The Finn was trying to make a three-stop strategy work, and it was going well. He was running fourth when he came into the pits for his final stop of the day, but was released when the right-rear wheel gun was still attached. His wheel was not bolted on correctly, and Raikkonen was forced to park the car on pit exit. Ferrari is being investigated for releasing Raikkonen’s car in an unsafe condition.

While Hamilton led Rosberg and Ricciardo over the line, it was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel placing in fourth behind them. Behind him was the McLaren of Fernando Alonso, who muscled his way by Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Williams driver Felipe Massa, in which there was contact involved, in the closing laps of the race. Sainz placed sixth while Massa placed seventh. Sergio Perez placed eighth for Force India ahead of Jenson Button in ninth, meaning both McLarens scored points. Romain Grosjean rounded out the points in 10th, scoring a point in the team’s first race on home soil and in his 100th start. The collision between Alonso and Massa will be investigated after the race.

To read more, go to: http://www.foxsports.com/motor/story/f1-us-gp-race-results-recap-austin-texas-lewis-hamilton-mercedes-wins-102316

“Atlanta” Creator and Star Donald Glover to Play Young Lando Calrissian in Han Solo Movie

Donald Glover Lando Star Wars

Donald Glover (l); Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian (r) REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

Writer/Actor/Rapper Donald Glover (“Atlanta”, “Community”) has landed the coveted role of Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo stand-alone movie starring Alden Ehrenreich.

That film will be set prior to “Star Wars: A New Hope,” like the other upcoming “Star Wars” standalone project, “Rogue One.”

“We’re so lucky to have an artist as talented as Donald join us,” said Phil Lord and Chris Miller. “These are big shoes to fill, and an even bigger cape, and this one fits him perfectly, which will save us money on alterations. Also, we’d like to publicly apologize to Donald for ruining Comic-Con for him forever.”

Testing for the role of Calrissian has been going on for months with actors like O’Shea Jackson, Jason Mitchell and “The Get Down”‘s Yahya Abdul-Mateen among those who have tested. Glover was considered the favorite but just to be sure co-directors Lord and Miller decided to do a second round of tests earlier this month with Glover and Mitchell. Glover was eventually tapped for the role.

There was some worry that scheduling Glover’s hit show “Atlanta” and the Han Solo shoot would be an issue, with the series just getting a second season. Since Glover is also the creator and heads the writers’ room for “Atlanta,” there was a worry that his commitment to running the room — which is open now and would of gone into production in March — would cause scheduling conflicts.

Sources now say they will probably bank all the scripts now and move production to next summer to accommodate the Solo shoot.  Production on the untitled Han Solo film is expected to begin in January.

Played originally by Billy Dee Williams in “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” the Lando character is a fan favorite in the “Star Wars” universe and it was unknown, until recently, if he would be making an appearance in any of these standalone movies.

The Han Solo prequel will hit theaters May 25, 2018.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/star-wars-donald-glover-to-play-young-lando-calrissian-in-han-solo-movie-1201897037/

Purdue Librarian Jamilla R. Gabriel Starts Call Number, a Subscription Service for Black Literature

Jamillah R. Gabriel (photo via Purdue University)

Librarian Jamillah R. Gabriel (photo via Purdue University)

article via jbhe.com

Jamillah R. Gabriel, librarian at Purdue University’s Black Cultural Center, has launched a new start-up subscription box venture that each month will send a newly released book written by a Black author to subscribers of the service. Subscribers also will receive four or five book-themed items with their new book that mirror prominent themes in the featured book as well as catalog cards and spine labels. The Call Number service, scheduled to debut in November, will start at $35 per month. Gabriel told JBHE that “I have selected the first book but I’m keeping that under wraps at the moment.”

Gabriel states that “These days there is a subscription box service for just about anything: fitness products, beauty products, even razors. However, after reviewing many literary subscription box sites I realized there were no book subscription boxes that highlighted Black literature. The lack of diversity in the publishing industry also spurred my decision to test the waters of entrepreneurship in an endeavor that would promote diverse literature in an easily accessible way.”

To read more, go to: https://www.jbhe.com/2016/10/purdue-university-librarian-starting-a-subscription-box-service-for-black-literature/