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Ava DuVernay and Harpo Collaborate on a Deal with Netflix

VIDEO DISCUSSION: DuVernay’s Central Park Five to be a Netflix limited series; Blue Ivy Carter is getting a lot of attention; Blac Chyna takes Rob to Court

What's The 411 Episode 113 consists of QUICK TAKES of topical news about Ava DuVernay; Chrissy Teigen, RYSE TV, Blue Ivy's Boom Shakalaka and lively discussions about Tupac and Madonna, Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian, and Japanese men who are turning to life-sized anatomically-correct dolls for companionship.

QUICK TAKES:

Film director Ava DuVernay is tackling another tough subject affecting African-Americans. Using the Central Park Five case, DuVernay will explore the subject of social and criminal injustice. Central Park Five, a five-part miniseries will debut on Netflix in 2019.

Chrissy Teigen would like you to stop sending her photos of babies that look like John Legend. She’s sick of it already, so just stop it!

Be on the lookout for RYSE TV. What started out as a magazine is growing into a VOD streaming entertainment platform and mobile app. Based in Atlanta, RYSE, which stands for “Recognizing the Young Successful and Empowered,” will soon become a multimedia group, offering the magazine, TV content, and an app.

Rapper and business mogul, Jay Z’s new album, 4:44 is out and when the confessional album dropped, it had the world talking. But, when the world heard five-year-old Blue Ivy's Boom Shakalaka freestyle, let’s just say that the little rumble you heard was the Internet breaking yet again with people signing up for #IvyLeague!

Pictures of Khloe Kardashian, North West, and Tristan Thompson surfaced online and the Tristan Thompson haters did not hold back, from wondering why he’s not with his own child to God is going to punish him, to hoping the Cleveland Cavaliers dump him.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner's T-Shirt Debacle

The lawsuits keep piling up for Kylie and Kendall Jenner over their T-shirts infused with pictures of themselves and iconic rappers Tupac and Biggie. First, Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mom, hit fast and furiously, and now according to Billboard, photographer Michael Miller is suing the sisters for copyright infringement over the use of photos he took of the late rapper Tupac Shakur.

WHAT’S POPPIN – AMERICAN CULTURE

A letter that rapper/actor Tupac Shakur wrote to pop star Madonna breaking off their relationship is going up for auction July 19th through the 28th on the Gotta Have Rock and Roll website, with bids starting at $100,000. The letter shows Tupac as very sensitive, thoughtful, and well-educated. Tupac seemed to have broken off the relationship with Madonna because of what half of his fans would think of him dating a white woman. However, he was hurt by a comment in the press that she was “off to rehabilitate all the rappers and basketball players”. Prior to reading that comment, Tupac thought he was the first rapper Madonna dated.

Q. What are your thoughts about this revelation of the Tupac letter to Madonna?

WHAT’S POPPIN – RELATIONSHIPS

In more Kardashian news, it looks like Rob Kardashian has gotten himself into a whole lot of hot water. In a series of extremely graphic and expletive-ridden posts, which have since been taken down, Kardashian blasted his ex-girlfriend and mother of his only child, Blac Chyna. Chyna responded to the onslaught of messages in a since-deleted Snapchat post, alleging that Kardashian hit her. She has also lawyered up. Famed attorney Lisa Bloom is now representing Blac Chyna and it is not looking good for Rob Kardashian. In fact, Kardashian now has a temporary restraining order against him.

A source close to Blac Chyna told People magazine that Chyna is the victim in this situation: “She’s had to have a new phone number every month and constantly has to change her number. While everyone is writing stories and thinking it’s fun gossip, it’s actually dangerous.”

Q. Does Rob need psychological help? Are we being sucked into the marketing machine of a new season of Rob and Chyna?

WHAT’S POPPIN – RELATIONSHIPS

The NY Post had an article about a new trend in Japan. It seems that Japanese men are turning to life-sized anatomically-correct dolls for companionship because they feel that their wives are neglecting them.

What happened to the notion that women are supposed to do whatever their husbands want?

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Our Photo of the week is a photo of Madonna and Tupac hanging out at the club.

THE 411onBOOKS INTRO

Coming up next, Troy Johnson, CEO, and webmaster of AALBC.com and Ruth Morrison are giving a shout out to Go On Girl Book Club for the way it gives back to the community.

And, they can help you to find a good book to read!

MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

Our Motivational Quote of the Week is:

Success belongs to those who chase it.

This is a quote from Chris Louis. Chris posted his quote in the comments section in one of our YouTube videos. So, keep posting motivational quotes and you never know where we’ll find your quote.

CARIBBEAN COOK-UP

ONIKA: And now….here’s Ms. Kizzy with her Caribbean cook up. What’s in the pot, gal!?

KIZZY: Now, Fay Ann Lyons might have made the song famous, but this is what I call "Heavy T Bumper!" Soca artist Destra invited a man from Belize onto the stage and had him lay down. Destra dropped herself butt first onto his groin area. That did not go well, she burst the man’s bladder and he sued Destra for medical fees, 2 months of missed work as well as pain and suffering. A Belizean judge ordered Destra to pay the man just over $55,000 TT dollars which amount to less than 10,000 USD.

Tupac Break-up Letter with Madonna

Tupac’s letter to Madonna was a head-scratcher, how did we miss this relationship?

A letter that rapper/actor Tupac Shakur wrote to pop star Madonna breaking off their relationship shocked the world.

The now famous letter is going up for auction July 19th through the 28th on the Gotta Have Rock and Roll website, with bids starting at $100,000.

 

QUICK TAKES: Patti LaBelle, Kirk Franklin, Demetrius Shipp Jr. and more

VIDEO: What's The 411 QUICK TAKES: Ryan Seacrest reportedly not happy with the monetary offer from American Idol; Khloe Kardashian facing a lawsuit

The National Museum of African-American Music celebrated Black Music Month with the 2017 My Music Matters: A Celebration of Legends Luncheon. The banquet, held at City Winery in Nashville, was hosted by David Mann and featured honorees Patti LaBelle, Teddy Riley, Kirk Franklin, and David Porter.

Actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. has everyone doing double takes. Shipp is playing the legendary rapper Tupac in the upcoming movie, All Eyez on Me. Looking at Demetrius Shipp, no wonder people are saying Tupac is still alive.

Ryan Seacrest has yet to sign on to host American Idol after he reportedly said he would do so. It turns out that Seacrest is fuming that Katy Perry will be paid more than him to be a judge on the show when he built American Idol.

Singer Ray J said his sister, singer/actress Brandy, is fine; she was suffering from exhaustion when she was recently taken off a plane by ambulance to go to a nearby hospital in Los Angeles.

Three-Time Grammy Award-Winner MAXWELL is the Brand Ambassador of HUE For Every Man. The founders of HUE, Jessica Estrada, and Kyle Frazier chose to partner with Maxwell not only to represent their brand but also as a partner in the company because he embodies all of the qualities and values the brand stands for: successful, fashionable, well-groomed, traditional and most importantly philanthropic.

Designer Destiney Bleu, the woman behind dbleudazzled, which specializes in custom crystallized clothing, says Khloe Kardashian ripped off her work.

The website, YBF.COM, is reporting that First Lady Melania Trump has been romantically linked to a Tiffany executive for well over a year. And, that #45 knows the deal and agreed that Melania could get a divorce if he lost the election. Perhaps, this explains another reason for Melania staying behind in NYC, why she doesn’t like PDA with #45, and why they both met with Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral just prior to the election.

What’s The 411 Episode 107: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Tupac

Freddie Jackson gives an extended interview, Ridley Scott hopes Idris Elba will be James Bond, stars come out for Dress for Success and more

On this episode of What’s The 411, we are talking about former US First Lady and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and US Senator Bernie Sanders are coming to Brooklyn to give separate commencement addresses. Hillary Clinton will give a commencement address at Medgar Evers College, while Senator Bernie Sanders, who was born in Brooklyn, will speak at Brooklyn College’s graduation ceremony.

Minnesota courts have whittled down the number of heirs to the estate of the deceased pop star, Prince.

Film director, Ridley Scott, told BBC Radio One that he hopes that actor Idris Elba would be the next James Bond.

Ifeoma White-Thorpe, a senior at Rockaway High School in Morris Hills, New Jersey. Ms. White-Thorpe received acceptances to all eight Ivy League colleges and Stanford University.

Dress for Success, an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life, held its annual fundraising gala at Cipriani Wall Street.

Popular rapper, Snoop Dogg, gave a heartfelt tribute to deceased rapper Tupac Shakur who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

We also have an extended interview with R&B singer Freddie Jackson, who has a new album, LOVE SIGNALS, with an expected release date in June. The album’s first single, One Night, will be released on May 1st.

Theatre Review: HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, The Music of Tupac Shakur

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is the Broadway musical based on the lyrics of the legendary rap artist, poet, and actor, TUPAC SHAKUR.

If you're looking for the Tupac story, this is not the one. HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is a social commentary on the plight of black men, particularly those from low-income communities. Tupac's lyrics and music undergirds the story.

When Tupac was alive he was revered by many and reviled by some. In HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, you get to see that Tupac Shakur was a rebel with a cause and HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME amplifies his message magnificently.

The principal cast members of HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME are: Saul Williams; Christopher Jackson; Saycon Sengbloh; Ben Thompson; John Earl Jelks; Joshua Boone; Dyllon Burnside; and Tonya Pinkins.

Kudos to director Kenny Leon. From the lead characters to the supporting cast and chorus, they bring their "A" game; you feel their passion and emotions. You will care about some of the characters, and dislike and feel sorry for others.

In HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, as in real life, we meet young men who are seeking guidance for ways to navigate the world. They are looking for direction from their peers and from older people whose navigational compass should be intact but has gone awry. This is evidenced by examples of the misguided use of sexuality and bravado masquerading as real manhood.

The music will have you at times wanting to dance in the aisles. If you're a purist and want to hear the lyrics as much as the music, well you might be disappointed on that score. The sound system periodically precludes you from hearing the clarity of the singer's voice.

As good as the production of HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is, there is one element missing.

Star power.

Sure, Broadway has transformed many unknowns into stars. However, when you have a production built on the music of a larger than life figure, the production deserves star power.

The book could have been written with a cameo appearance by a rapper that has street cred that we don't see or hear from every day. There are several rappers that fit this bill and any one of them would have gladly taken on the role. Hey for that matter, a long-standing hip-hop radio personality would have also worked and they could have helped with the marketing. Just ask the founders of FUBU and other urban clothing lines.

As for marketing, I'm still amazed at the number of people who don't know about HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME. It's clear that there were missed opportunities and marketing miscues unless of course, the producers were just trying to reach the traditional Broadway theater audience. The HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME logo is very unappealing. Although HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is not Tupac's biography, it is a perception of his life through his music. Consequently, the red carpet opening should have featured high-profile friends of Pac and those who worked with him and held him in high esteem, such as Jada Pinkett Smith, Snoop Lion, Malik Yoba, and director John Singleton; not to mention various hip-hop and urban radio and TV personalities, as well as influencers within the New York City urban community.

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME makes a profound statement and it would be sad if it were to leave the Broadway scene too soon because the marketing plan doesn't match the level of intensity coming from the cast and musicians.

Moreover, the legacy of Tupac Shakur deserves better.

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME!

  • Published in Theatre

Holler If Ya Hear Me

WATCH VIDEO: 411 TEAM DISCUSSING HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME

The What's The 411TV panel consisting of KIZZY COX, JACINDA MOTTON, RITA OBI and GLENN GILLIAM discuss the opening of the new Broadway play, HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME. The play's story is undergirded by the music and lyrics of the legendary rapper, poet, and actor, TUPAC SHAKUR.

  • Published in Theatre

Actor Malik Yoba Supports The Valley

VIDEO INTERVIEW: MALIK YOBA

Actor Malik Yoba checks in with What's The 411 hosts Roceania and Amelia Moore at an event to benefit The Valley, a nonprofit organization servicing adolescents in upper Manhattan.

Yoba talks about the success of the hit Fox television show, New York Undercover, the expectation of the public, his relationship with Tupac Shakur, entrepreneurial aspirations, and his community service activities.

Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo made television history, as the New York Undercover series was the first police drama on American television to feature two people of color in the starring roles.

This interview was recorded around 1994-95.

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