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Pardon The Introduction: The Airplane Boys Talk Breaking Into Music, Drake and The Weeknd's Influence On Toronto

It’s not often that you hear something as sonically imaginative as The Airplane Boys. One second you’re gliding through planes of modern electro synths, and the next you’ve entered a realm of jazzy pop meets lyrical rap/hip-hop. But that’s precisely what Jason Drakes (Bon Voyage) and Mannie Serranilla (Beck Motley) were aiming for when creating their mixtape, Where’ve You Been. For them, it was all about captivating listeners and taking them to places they had never been before, and that's ultimately what lead to them garnering the amount of internet attention they have over the past few months.

Evolutionary in sound and avant-garde in style, Toronto’s genre-mashing twosome has been breaking musical barriers since grade school and is finally embarking on a journey to share their music with the world. With Drizzy Drake now firmly on the map and emo R&B prince The Weeknd closely following his footsteps, it seems as if Toronto is the next to blow, and The Airplane Boys are set to be part of the explosion.

VIBE.com caught up with the dynamic duo to discuss their latest project (executive produced by Weeknd music master Illangelo), as well as their rise as artists in the blossoming Toronto scene and even touring with living West Coast legend Snoop Dogg. With clear-cut ambition and an aim to be remembered in pop culture, The Airplane Boys are prepping to fly high.

Buckle your seatbelts. You’re about to take wing with Toronto’s next in line. —Stephanie Long (@Miss_Long)

Previously ? V Premiere: The Airplane Boys 'Gold Ribbons'


VIBE: To start off, can you guys kind of introduce yourselves to our readers who may not be familiar with you yet? Where’d your names come from, how did you guys meet, etc.?

BON VOYAGE: My parents split when I was 10 years old and I moved to a neighborhood in Toronto called Scarborough. That’s where I met Mannie. One day [in school] I was writing on my desk and he came over like ‘Do you rap?’ and I was like ‘Yeah,’ and we then started this little group for a talent show that was coming up and just kind of went from there doing stuff under the name Rock Steady. [To Beck Motley] Actually, what was the first name? Rap Pack?

BECK MOTLEY: [Laughs] Yeah.

BON VOYAGE: Yeah. And we just kept growing, and over time we changed our name. We had different groups with more people and Mannie and I just really stuck together and built a friendship and here we are today.

My name is Bon Voyage, and that name comes from us two years ago thinking like ‘Yo, we really need to just go forward and make things happen and get names that represent us in the best way.’ I was talking to Mannie and he was like ‘Yo, man, there’s a lot going on and I wanna leave things behind, I’m stressed out, I’m going through problems’ and we wanted something that represented that, and Mannie just [came up with] Bon Voyage for me and I was like ‘That’s perfect.’ I’m going through a possible baby on the way and the family needed a change and it was perfect because we wanted to say bye to everything that was holding us back, and now, finally, we’re here on track.

BECK MOTLEY: Amen, amen. And my name is Beck Motley because [Beck] is my nickname. Jay and all the guys used to call me that. And Motley was this word I didn’t even know – I didn’t even know about Motley Crue, to be honest [laughs]. I was in college and I was taking this improvisation course and I needed to get credits to catch up and I did this whole scene and the professor was like, ‘That was very Motley of you.’ And I was like, ‘What does that mean?’ And she’s like, ‘It’s very colorful. There’s a lot of dimensions to it and a lot of angles that you were bringing to it.’ And I looked up the word and I just liked the whole concept of different dimensions and colors because some days I wanna be dark and some days I wanna be uppity-up [laughs], so the name was Beck Motley.

The name The Airplane Boys came from Jay and I sitting in a room with our band director and making jokes and Jay was like ‘We need something that represents life and we gotta get away from this name Rock Steady,’ ‘cause we were like a jazz band playing jazz festivals and touring down the jazz circuit and I came up with a joke called ‘The Airplane Boys’ and me and Jay looked at each other like ‘Yo, that’s it, that’s what it is.’ And every time we went around and would be like ‘The Airplane Boys,’ people would laugh or be like ‘That’s cool,’ but either way we got a reaction. Negative or positive, it stuck with you, and people would come back and be like ‘Hey, you guys are The Airplane Boys, right?’ It also represented leaving things behind as well, just that whole theme of moving forward and seeing things fly under us. When we were younger, Jason’s dad was a pilot in Guyana and my dad was an aircraft engineer. I remember when I was a kid my dad would bring home airplane figurines and that would keep me in my youth – that would keep us in our youth. So the name represents us moving forward and hanging on to that youth and forwarding our fathers’ dream, you know?

Right, right. I really get that feeling from Where’ve You Been. You put it on and you kind of just escape from reality for a little bit. Was that really the whole concept behind the tape?

BECK MOTLEY: Yeah, Where’ve You Been generated when me and Jay would take walks to write. I watched this movie called ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ [laughs] and there’s a piece where Jack Sparrow was like ‘Imagine finding a place that you never discovered, never found.’ So Jay and I were like ‘Yo, imagine walking in the forest or whatever and finding a place where you knew no one had walked in that spot.’ We were like ‘What if we did that with our music?’ From our stories and our experience, we wanted people to feel like ‘Where’ve you been?’ like a place that they discovered. We wanted them to hold that music and be like ‘Where’ve you been all my life?’ Not so much like a question, but like a word of assurance. That’s why there’s no question mark in ‘Where’ve You Been.’ It’s just a statement for them to ask themselves that, not just about the music, but to ask yourself, ‘Where have I been.’ You’re never gonna be younger than you are today. So that’s just the whole vibe of what we’re trying to do and what we’re going to do.

That’s dope. Tell me about coming up as artists in Toronto alongside artists like The Weeknd and Drake. Is there a really active music scene?

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Jacob Knight Steps Out Of His Father’s Shadow And Into Real Estate On 'Love & Listings'

Breaking into a new career can be tough for anyone, but Suge Jacob Knight is ready to concur the world of real estate in VH1's latest docu-series, Love & Listings.

In the official trailer, we meet Knight known to his friends as Jacob. As the son of the notorious Suge Knight, Cali native has dived into sports, music and fashion, but Jacob is ready to try his hand at real estate. While working on his real estate license, Jacob teams up with Agents of LA's Tai Savent, where he's able to use his celebrity background with work with the likes of Jermaine Dupri, Brandy, Ray J, Vanessa Simmons and more.

Joining him on his real estate journey is Taylor Schwartz, a rookie ready to make her own splash into the game. The eight, one-hour episodes will also include other budding real estate agents of color who are looking to overcome their own bouts of drama.

The series also features Zac Diles, a former professional football player, Ajani Scott, a part-time waitress struggling to become a real estate agent and Andrew Clinkscale, one of the top agents at a popular Beverly Hills agency.

Rounding out the cast will be Samantha Barrette an L.A. transplant moving quickly up the real estate ladder, Erik Miles, a lawyer-turned-real estate agent, entrepreneur and realtor and luxury real estate titan, Alexander Anu.

Love & Listings is executively produced by Entertainment One (eOne), Creature Films and Purveyors of Pop (POP), and produced by Relevé  Entertainment. Tara Long serves as executive producer for eOne with Mark Ford and Kevin Lopez for Creature Films and Nate Green and Matt Anderson for POP, alongside Holly Carter for Relevé.

Christopher Costine and Sean Matthews also serve as executive producers. Concept by Releve’s Holly Carter.

See the trailer along with the rundown of the entire cast below.

Zac Diles

Diles is a former professional football player and has since suited up for a new type of game: real estate. After eight years playing ball, Zac has built a network of clients out of his former teammates (and adversaries). Zac’s love for the ladies (including other agents) often gets him in trouble. Despite being in a relationship with Kat Tat from VH1’s Black Ink Crew: Chicago, Zac finds himself caught between his current girlfriend Kat and fellow cast member and ex-girlfriend Samantha, who is determined to get him back.

Ajani Scott

A part-time waitress struggling to fulfill her dream of becoming a celebrity real estate agent, Scott moved her hustle over to the world of real estate to make some money while she builds her professional network. Seeing her potential, veteran agent Erik Miles has taken Ajani on as an apprentice at his own agency. The stakes are high as Ajani learns to put her money where her mouth is, which jeopardizes Erik’s A-list clientele.

Taylor Schwartz

Despite her young age, she is a force to be reckoned with. She has the charm, smarts and beauty to reel in new clients, but her fiery temper often lands her in hot water, leaving her career in jeopardy. Working under Tai’s wing, Taylor begins to wonder if the “grass is greener” when fellow real estate competitor Andrew Clinkscale offers her a position.

Andrew Clinkscale

Clinkscale is a top agent at one of Beverly Hills’ most prestigious real estate agencies. However, Andrew wasn’t always on top. He grew up through the foster care system and was homeless twice in his life. He’s seen the bottom and is determined to never go back. Andrew’s professional and personal life soon collide as romantic rumors with another real estate agent begin to arise. Will the swirling affair rumors around the engaged “golden boy of real estate” bring him down?

Samantha Barretto

Barretto recently moved to LA and has quickly moved up the real estate food chain by joining one of the most prestigious agencies in Beverly Hills. While running in the same industry circles as her ex-boyfriend Zac, Samantha’s feelings for him begin to heat back up and start to affect her professional life.

Sarah Scheper

After overcoming personal struggles, Sarah has embraced her sobriety and turned over a new leaf in LA. While Sarah quickly becomes the queen of Beverly Hills real estate, her reputation is threatened when she begins an on-again, off-again relationship with Jacob which leads to friction between him and the other agents.

Erik Miles

Miles is a charming lawyer-turned real estate agent, a one-stop shop with his own imprint at a West Hollywood agency. The son of a successful athlete, Erik is willing to take risks to close deals which often pays off... but sometimes blows up in his face.

Tai Savet

Savet is eager to break bread (and the bank) with his unique LA-based brokerage firm as the go-to agent for the biggest names in show-biz. From Tai’s perspective, the future is bright and primed for expansion, especially with a roster of hip millennials on his team, including Taylor and Jacob.

Sarah Scheper

Scheper is a proven real estate power player who originally conquered the market in Orange County. After overcoming personal struggles, Sarah has embraced her sobriety and turned over a new leaf in LA. While Sarah quickly becomes the queen of Beverly Hills real estate, her reputation is threatened when she begins an on-again, off-again relationship with Jacob which leads to friction between him and the other agents.

Alexandre Anu

Anu is a real estate titan at of one of LA’s premiere brokerage firms and continues to grow his elite clientele. All of his listings are high-end luxury properties with an extensive client roster of A-list celebrities and top business executives.

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Lashana Lynch Reportedly Lands Role As First Black Woman '007'

Actress Lashana Lynch is poised to make history, according to new reports. The Daily Mail states the 31-year-old thespian will reportedly take on the role of "007" in the upcoming Bond 25 film. This will make her the first black woman spy to command the role since the franchise's decades-long inception.

Lynch's character (Nomi) is central to what is being described as a critical scene. She'll reportedly star as a secret agent who takes over the alias (007) while being tasked with bringing James Bond (Daniel Craig) out of retirement for a new mission, E! News adds.

"There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M [played by Ralph Fiennes] says, 'Come in 007,' and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman," a film insider said to the Daily Mail. "It's a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he's been replaced as 007 by this stunning woman."

Bond 25 is directed by Beasts of No Nation's Cary Joji Fukunaga and co-written by Killing Eve's Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The upcoming motion picture will premiere in April 2020.

Lynch was nominated for Female Performance in Film at the 2019 Screen Nation Film and Television Awards. Her breakout movie was Captain Marvel where she played Maria Rambeau. Lynch also played the lead role in Shonda Rhimes' period drama series Still Star-Crossed before it was canceled after its first season in June 2017.

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Courtesy of Lion King

Chiwetel Ejiofor Proves The Real Star Of The 'Lion King’ Is Actually The Villain

The bad guy makes the movie what it is. He tests the parameters of your empathy, understanding, and grace, forcing you to see what you’re made of.

This particular bad guy lets resentment fester and rumble in his belly, as his mighty and righteous brother merits admiration and reverence from faithful servants. When it comes to brains, he knows he has the lion's share, but it’s the permanent mark in the shape of a dagger slicing above his left eye that reminds him his brother is the sole proprietor of brute strength.

It's this same villain who deputizes himself among the others also tired of begging for whatever's left to orchestrate a felony so sorrowful, it plucks at your Adam’s Apple, pushing your screams and cries back into your throat because what’s done cannot be undone.

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s embodiment of the deceitful Scar is just that: a wondrous amalgamation of pain, defeat, rejection and will bursting onto the big screen in Disney’s live-action remake of the Lion King. Jeremy Irons’ 1994 version of the antagonist, while still deceptive, encapsulated a bit of theatrics and bounce. The only telltale sign of Scar’s venom was his flowing jet-black mane. Ejiofor’s 2019 portrayal is bloated with greed, anger and the need to control. The use of the word “bloated” is hyperbole, of course, as on-screen Scar is thin, almost emaciated and physically hungry for the dominance he feels he’s owed.

There’s no need to rehash the 25-year-old film. Moviegoers can be reassured to know director Jon Favreau stayed true to the movie’s heart. He often replicated important scenes detail for detail, including the quintessential opening sequence with the sun rising over the Pride Lands as zebras, antelope, rhinos and other wildlife assembled to meet and bow to the future king.

And while we know Mufasa dies, his live-action death stings even more.

As Hans Zimmer’s “To Die For” thunders, the wildebeest come running down into the gorge and your 10-year-old self tells Simba to run. Hope is still a possibility after Mufasa saves his cub and leaps from the stampede onto the rocks and climbs to the top. Then your 34-year-old self soothes your inner child, because what happens next—the grave offense Scar commits—is irreversible.

But what most miss about Scar, even after 25 years, is under all of his deplorable ways lies his one admirable quality: ambition.

Scar saw himself among the greats and envisioned a kingdom under his rule. He let nothing get in the way of his chosen destiny, including his weak older brother. Scar couldn’t and wouldn’t settle for being a knight, or a duke or a lord. Scar wanted to be king, so much so betrayal and murder were mere casualties in the race to rule Pride Rock.

Who among us has ever gone after our future with more reckless abandon?

Ejiofor understood this insatiable need to ascend to the greatness Scar believed he possessed, and he channeled that with his voice. The east-London native’s lilt took on whatever emotions needed to give way to Scar's true intentions.

Whether it be the flat, emotionless way he dismissed Simba into the den. (“I don’t babysit,” he sneers) or the way he let his words dangle in the air as he covertly described life as Mufasa's brother ("Others spend their lives in the dark...begging for scraps"), Ejiofor’s reinvention of Scar is more than just a voice over. It’s the inflated and arguably updated blueprint Irons left behind.

Ejiofor showed that to embody Scar meant more than reciting lines from a page. It meant whatever couldn’t be expressed through physical emotion seen on screen had to be demonstrated in the inflections, whispers, and passion of his voice. Scar’s lustful desire to outshine his brother and his brother’s memory was on full display whenever Scar was on screen and Ejiofor zeroed in on that, even from behind a microphone.

With fervor, and indignation Ejiofor’s portrayal of Scar proved why, without him, Simba would be nothing. Without Scar, Simba wouldn’t have to face his biggest foe or know how to. While Mufasa taught him compassion, loyalty, and love, Scar taught him to fight. Scar is a liar and a cheat and will stop at nothing to get what he feels rightfully belongs to him. And yet, as vile as Scar is, he's also the unintended teacher.

Ejiofor knew that deeper than his fury and his jealousy, Scar was more than just a bad guy. Scar was an instructor who made Simba and audiences examine themselves and Ejiofor’s performance underscores that. Does it feel good to give Scar his flowers? Of course not. I wouldn't spit on Scar even if he were on fire. But let’s face it, there would be no Lion King if Simba didn’t have to fight for his throne.

So to Scar and to all the bad guys who help us roar a little bit louder, thank you for the unintended lesson.

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