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Regina King Talks Directing Jaheim Video, End Of The Boondocks

Regina King, in real life, is just as versatile as the roles she plays—from 227’s typical teenager Brenda Jenkins to Southland’s tough detective Lydia Adams. She is currently the voice of Huey and Riley Freeman on The Boondocks and recently made her directorial debut with Jaheim’s “Finding My Way Back.”

VIBE.com caught up with the actress to find out if The Boondocks will see another season and what’s next for her directing career. ⎯Starrene Rhett

Photo by Kirstin Knufmann

 

VIBE: How did you end up directing Jaheim’s “Finding My Way Back?”

Regina King: We met at Mo’Nique’s show. We exchanged info, texted back and forth and he asked me if I would be in the video and I told him I would be in it if I could direct it. He said, “Sure” and I said, "Give me a couple of days to write the treatment and put the concept together and I’ll get back to you."

Were you already a fan of his music?

I’m a huge Jaheim fan. If it had been any other artist I probably would have just said thanks for asking but no because I don’t have the desire to be in any videos⎯not downing anyone that does⎯that’s just personally not what I want to do. And the fact that it was Jaheim is probably what made it come to my mind to counter with “I’ll be in it if I can direct it.”

You took him away from his R&B-thug type image.

I’ve just personally never seen any videos that showed Jaheim in a naturally sexy element but his music is all of that⎯it's naturally sexy. He’s that perfect combination of that voice between Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass. He’s one of those few artists that you can listen to the whole album with all his albums. There are very few artists that fall in that category where you know you’re gonna get a new album. But if you watch a Jaheim video, he almost falls into a rapper type category and his music is so much bigger than that, it’s much more mature, so I felt like I could do something with that.

Was Jaheim a gentleman on set?

He was great, I couldn’t have asked for a better subject. He dug the idea of telling a story and he was really open and said that he’s interested in acting himself, one day. So anything I asked of him, he was open to do.

When are you directing your first movie?

I’m in the process of trying to get financing. This is probably the story of half of the actors that you’ll talk to who have been in the business for a long time who are stepping behind the camera. But my plan is to direct my first feature film this summer. It’s a book called Let the Church Say Amen and it was written by a woman named ReShonda Tate Billingsley. It was an Essence best seller and a couple of her other books were national best sellers. It’s a story that appeals to 18- to 60-year-olds because it takes place in the Church. I’ve done research and saw that 60 percent of the films that were top-grossing films in the past two years have been PG or PG 13 films so my feeling is that if for my directorial debut my film is where people who are 18 will come out and see and people who are 60 will come out and see it, then that will open the door for the next directorial feature. I’m continuously talking about it because I’m one of those people that believes that if you put it out into the universe then you’ll attract it. So that’s my mission right now. I’m working on locking down the second half of this financing and have it complete before I go back to work on Southland.

How do you feel about Tyler Perry’s influence on Hollywood?

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J. Cole Reveals Details For 2nd Annual Dreamville Festival

It’s going to be a “legendary” 2020 for Dreamville fans. J. Cole’s second annual Dreamville Festival will return to Raleigh, North Carolina next year, the Grammy-nominated rapper announced on Twitter on Tuesday (Dec. 10).

The 2020 Dreamville Festival goes down on April 4, at Dix Park. The lineup, which features Dreamville artists and more, will be revealed at a later date.

Last year’s Dreamville Festival welcomed 40,000 people, according to The News & Observer. Performers included Ari Lennox, Bas, Earth Gang, SZA, Big Sean, Rapsody, Young Thug, 21 Savage, and 6LACK.

The Dreamville Festival will benefit Cole’s Dreamville Foundation and Dix Park Conservancy. Tickets go on sale Wednesday (Dec. 11) at 12 p.m. EST via dreamville.com.

Besides the festival announcement, Cole celebrated the fifth anniversary of his Forrest Hills Drive album on Monday (Dec. 9). “A day late but. Forest Hills Drive just turnt [sic] 5 years old,” he tweeted. “I feel big big gratitude for the year spent making it and for all the love shown to it. S**t crazy thank you God.”

 

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Joyner Lucas Blames Juice WRLD’s Death On Rappers Who Glorify Drug Use

Joyner Lucas blames Juice WRLD’s death on fellow rappers who glorify drug use. Lucas tweeted his thoughts about Juice WRLD's passing on Monday (Dec. 9) writing in part, “He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool.”

Lucas added, “[I’m] blaming [ya’ll] n**gaz for this s**t. All that lean and pills n**gaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now? RIP @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon.”

Juice wrld was 21. He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool. Im blaming Yal niggaz for this shit. 🤦🏽‍♂️ all that lean and pills niggaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now?Rip @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 9, 2019

Lucas also shared a Juice WRLD interview where the Chicago native shares how Future’s music inspired him to start using drugs at 12 years old.

Rip young legend... To my generation, we gotta be accountable for the shit we glorify. Difference between juice & other niggaz is juice wasn’t proud of it. he talked about being ashamed of using. That’s art. I’m not mad at it. I’m mad hip hop for steering him in that direction. pic.twitter.com/MzYCAsCg7a

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 10, 2019

Juice WRLD, whose birth name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, suffered a seizure upon at Chicago’s Midway airport last Sunday (Dec. 8.). The “Lucid Dreams” rhymer was headed back home to Chicago after working over the Thanksgiving holiday, and celebrating one of the “best birthdays” ever last week.

Although an initial autopsy on the rapper’s body came back inconclusive, Juice WRLD reportedly swallowed several prescription pills as federal agents were confiscating drugs and weapons from the suitcases on the private plane that he was on, along with his entourage and girlfriend. According to the Chicago Tribune, Juice WRLD began convulsing and went into cardiac arrest at the airport. His girlfriend told authorities that he had a “drug problem” and had taken the painkiller Percocet. He was given a Narcam shot, which is administered in the case of an overdose, but pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Authorities found dozens of vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, two 9 mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, and ammunition in the bags on the plane. Two of Juice WRLD’s bodyguards were arrested at the scene for misdemeanor weapons and drug possession.

Juice WRLD was open about his battle with addiction to prescription pills and codeine, both in his music and beyond. Over the summer, he promised to get help for his drug habit in a tweet to his girlfriend. In addition to battling his sobriety, the recording artist was mourning the loss of his father who died earlier in the year.

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Lauren London Pays Homage To Nipsey Hussle In "Forever Stronger" PUMA Campaign

Lauren London is teaming with PUMA as she steps into next chapter in her journey.  London debuted “Forever Stronger” on Tuesday (Dec. 10), a visual campaign paying homage to her late boyfriend, Nipsey Hussle, and his indelible love for Los Angeles.

The 35-year-old actress created the emotional piece, which is described as a “creative vision Lauren wanted to bring to life to signify the continuation of her marathon alongside PUMA.”

Set around the streets of Los Angeles, London narrates the visual with a poem by Samantha Smith. “We are flowing, we are growing, we are open like the red sea,” reads one passage of the poem. “We walk through with confident uncertainty. We kneel here. We heal here. We open our hearts to the heavens. We use our tears to cleanse our canvas. The fear floods us, the love is electric.”

“Pain is the light,” the poem continues. “Pain is insight. The body hurts, but the spirit grows. The flesh is starving, while wisdom overflows. I got a question only Lord knows: does life break us twice?”

The campaign was directed by Danny Williams (Top Shelf Junior), edited by Matt Tolkin and produced by AJR Films. The musical score comes courtesy of Rance of 1500 or Nothin.'

PUMA previously collaborated with Hussle on capsule collection that was posthumously released in September. The collection sold out within 24 hours.

Watch London’s “Forever Stronger” campaign below.

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