Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to Headline Saturdays and Sundays at Coachella 2017

Beyoncé, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar (photo via Variety.com)

article by  via Variety.com

Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and Radiohead will headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this year. The 18th annual fest will once again take place over two weekends — April 14 to 16 and April 21 to 23 — at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif.

Aside from a brief surprise cameo during husband Jay Z’s headlining set in 2010, and again for little sister Solange’s appearance in 2014, Beyoncé has never played the desert festival. She will headline the second night, with returning veterans Radiohead on Friday and Lamar (who first played the fest in 2012) closing out the proceedings on Sunday.

All three artists released highly acclaimed new music in 2016.

To read more, go to: Coachella 2017 Lineup: Beyonce, Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar to Headline | Variety

Chris Rock Announces “The Total Blackout” Comedy Tour – His 1st in 9 Years

The Hannibal Montanabal Experience

Chris Rock (Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty)

article by Stephanie Long via blackamericaweb.com

After inking a deal with Netflix for two stand-up specials, Chris Rock is going on his first comedy tour in nine years. The announcement came via a Facebook Live video posted to the comedian’s timeline on Monday (December 5).

“Tonight, I am announcing that I, Chris Rock, am going on tour,” he shared while standing outside of Los Angeles’ Comedy Store. “The Total Blackout tour is coming to your town in 2017… First time in nine years, haven’t done it in a while. Been a little busy, You know, writing Pootie Tang 3 and everything. But hey, it’s time.”

As VIBE points out, Rock’s last tour, Kill The Messenger, aired on HBO in 2008.

Tickets go on sale via Live Nation on December 7.

“I can’t wait to see you b*****s!” — Chris Rock

Chris Rock Total Blackout Tour Dates:

February 14 – Durham, NC @ DPAC

February 16 – Cincinnati, OH @ Aronoff Center for the Arts

February 18 – Columbus, OH @ Palace Theatre Continue reading

Actor/Director Denzel Washington to be Honored by Santa Barbara Film Festival

Denzel Washington Fences

Denzel Washington (UNIMEDIA IMAGES/REX SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com

Denzel Washington has been selected to receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Feb. 2, 2017 at the Arlington Theatre.

Washington will be honored for his longstanding contributions to the film industry, culminating with Paramount’s upcoming movie “Fences,” which he directs, produces, and stars in.

The award is named for film critic Leonard Maltin, who will return for his 26th year to moderate the evening.  Roger Durling, the festival’s executive director, said, “Denzel Washington directing, producing and acting in ‘Fences’ defines the Modern Master for the 21st Century.”

Washington portrays a mid-century Pittsburgh sanitation worker who once dreamed of a baseball career, but was too old when the major leagues began admitting black players. He tries to be a good husband and father, but his lost dream of glory eats at him, and causes him to make a decision that threatens to tear his family apart.

The screenplay is written August Wilson, adapted from Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The film also stars Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney. Paramount opens “Fences” on Dec. 25.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/festivals/denzel-washington-santa-barbara-film-festival-1201928237/

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

Ava DuVernay’s Mass Incarceration Documentary “13th” Opens to Standing Ovation at New York Film Festival

New York Film Festival 2016 opening

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay (GREGORY PACE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Gordon Cox via Variety.com

Ava DuVernay’s “13th” opened the 54th New York Film Festival with a jolt of topical urgency, shaking up tradition as the first documentary to kick off the festival and addressing head-on the issue of mass incarceration and its historical roots. The crowd at the premiere screening rose to its feet when the credits rolled — and then did it a couple more times after that: once when the lights came up on the filmmakers, activists and academics involved in the film, and again when DuVernay appeared for a brief talkback after the movie.

Heightened security measures, a reaction to the Sept. 17 bombing in Chelsea, made the opening the first in recent memory to involve bomb-sniffing dogs and security wands. Famous faces including Oprah WinfreyCommon and Don Lemon turned out for the film, which confronts issues at the forefront of the current political conversation: race, inequality, the fallout of slavery, police brutality and Black Lives Matter.

“This moment, this Black Lives Matter moment, it’s not a moment. It’s a movement,” said DuVernay on the red carpet before the film’s world premiere (in words she would later echo when she addressed the crowd in the theater). “People thought, ‘Oh, will it last?’ Well, it has lasted. It’s changed things. It’s forced candidates to talk about things that they did not talk about in previous elections. It’s opened people’s minds. It’s changed art-making. It’s changed music. People are seeing things through a different filter now.”

To read full article, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/new-york-film-festival-2016-opening-13th-ava-duvernay-1201875308/

Salt-N-Pepa and Chance The Rapper to Perform at 2016 Black Ball to Aid Alicia Keys’ Keep A Child Alive Charity

Chance The Rapper Salt N Pepa KCA Ball

Chance The Rapper (l); Salt N Pepa (r) [Dave Mangel/Astrid Stawiarz via Getty Images]

article by Sidney Madden via xxlmag.com

Alicia Keys is making sure hip-hop is giving back in a big way. Chance The Rapper and Salt N Pepa will perform at Keys’ 13th annual Black Ball in NYC on Wednesday, Oct. 19. The annual black tie affair is put on by Keys’ charity Keep a Child Alive (KCA). It was announced earlier this month that A$AP Rocky would be performing along with rock star Patti Smith.

Star-studded events, humanitarian and otherwise, are nothing new to Chano or the ladies. The Chicago rapper just wrapped his Magnificent Coloring Day Festival in his hometown to celebrate the launch of his charity Social Works Inc. The 23-year-old mixtape star brought out big names like Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Young Thug, 2 Chainz, and Keys to celebrate the day. In fact, Chance has had a long history of helping his city through community efforts.

As for Salt-N-Pepa, the legendary crew has been reppin’ for hip-hop for more than 30 years now. Back in the 1980’s, the Queens duo, along with DJ Spinderella, were among the first rappers to promote safe sex, and were recently honored at VH1’s 2016 Hip Hop Honors.

The 2016 Black Ball will take place at Hammerstein Ballroom on Oct. 19 with a special tribute to legendary music mogul Clive Davis. As always, Alicia Keys will serve as the night’s host. Check out details about how to donate to KCA and attend the Ball here.

Read More: Chance The Rapper and Salt-N-Pepa to Perform at Alicia Keys’ 2016 Black Ball – XXL | http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2016/09/chance-the-rapper-salt-n-pepa-to-perform-alicia-keys-2016-black-ball/?trackback=tsmclip

Wiz Khalifa to Headline “Pencils of Promise” Benefit Concert for Children’s Education in October

Hip-hop artist Wiz Khalifa (photo via

Hip-hop artist Wiz Khalifa (photo via hypebeast.com)

article via blackamericaweb.com

Pencils of Promise, a global education nonprofit, has tapped Grammy-nominated rapper Wiz Khalifa to headline its 2016 PoP Gala, joining fellow performers Nico & Vinz, reports Billboard.

Khalifa will close the event — set for Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Cipriani Wall Street — with a special performance in support of the millions of children around the globe who don’t have access to quality education.

“Kids should be able to chase their dream. Pencils of Promise is allowing them to do that,” Khalifa said in a press release announcing his involvement.

This year marks the sixth annual Pencils of Promise Gala to raise funds for children’s education in developing countries. Previous honorees and performers have included Justin Bieber, John Legend, Usher, Gary Vaynerchuk, Malala Yousafzai and Scooter Braun.

Honorary event chair Grace Raymond and creative director Luam Keflezgy are leading the effort to transform the annual event.

The 2016 gala will feature an awards portion, highlighting the partnership with footwear brand Stuart Weitzman, which has supported Pencils of Promise with their Shoes for Schools campaign, through which they funded the construction of three schools: one each in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos. The night will also recognize the Womble Family/Collis Foundation.

To read more, go to: http://blackamericaweb.com/2016/09/27/wiz-khalifa-to-headline-benefit-concert/