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V Exclusive! Mystikal Talks Cash Money Deal; Praises Lil Wayne

It was the kind of news that was indeed eyebrow raising. Mystikal, the bombastic, animated MC who came to prominence in the late 90’s and early 00’s as a member of Master P’s influential southern hip-hop imprint No Limit Records signs up with former rival label Cash Money Records. For many fans that can recall the fierce battles between the two New Orleans rap powerhouses the thought of Mystikal breaking bread with Lil Wayne and Birdman was a shocker. But according to the “Shake Ya Ass” rapper the unlikely union was long in the making, even during his six-year prison bid. And he credits Young Money’s general Lil Wayne for making the process a smooth transition.

“It was actually materializing for a while now,” Mystikal tells VIBE, adding that, “the conversation started when I was going through my incarceration. And those conversations continued once I came home. The right things happened and the right kind of deal was made. What I got from Wayne was don’t be to astounded by what you are seeing because this is nothing. Let’s go make history. That’s a young dude telling me that. Coming from him and given the big things he’s doing right now, that was right on for me.” 

Mystikal continues of the seemingly unstoppable stable that includes superstars Drake, Nicki Minaj and newly signed vet Busta Rhymes: “Even Ray Charles could see what was happening over at Cash Money [laughs]. The minute I went over there and stepped my foot in the studio I knew it was real. I never thought I would go from No Limit to Cash Money. It was like God was leading me. Imagine what I can do over here.”

It’s been a long journey for Mystikal. The platinum high-octane spitter was jailed, along with two of his bodyguards after pleading guilty to sexual battery and extortion for an incident that occurred in 2002. Mystikal had threatened to turn in his former hairstylist in to police for cashing $80,000 worth of unauthorized checks from the rapper’s bank account. The stylist was then pushed to having sex with all three men in exchange for their silence. Mystikal pleaded guilty to forcing the hairstylist to perform sexual acts.  He says he has since learned from his ordeal.

“The no. 1 thing that I learned is you have to watch your friends,” he explains. “Watch your surroundings and watch the people that you cry out to for help. Because by the time they come your situation will become far worse. I have to be really careful who I have around me.”

As for a new album, an excited Mystikal says expect a new project in the mode of his first Cash Money single “Original,” featuring Weezy and Birdman—a track that was recently premiered on Funk Master Flex’s radio show on New York’s Hot 97.

“It’s about to be crazy,” he glows. “We are projecting a new album from me in about April.”—Keith Murphy

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Drake To Direct Upcoming ’48 Laws Of Power’ Episode On Quibi

While Drake is behind the mic laying down new verses for upcoming music, the Toronto native will also step behind the camera to direct an episode of an upcoming series. Based on Robert Greene’s best-selling book The 48 Laws of Power, the series of the same name will debut on Quibi in the near future.

Drake’s production company Dreamcrew, and Anonymous Content will helm the executive producing duties. The partnership will also receive executive direction from Dreamcrew’s co-founder Adel “Future” Nur and executive Jason Shrier. “When Drake and I sat down with Robert Greene it was incredibly inspiring,” Future said. “The laws allow for a wide range of dynamic storytelling and Quibi allows us to tell these stories in bite-sized chapters similar to the book.” The entertainment outlet will launch on mobile on Apr. 6.

Greene, who’ll be an executive producer as well, said he’s looking forward to the cinematic adaptation of his 1998 book. The passage outlines the road to success through philosophies taught by Sun-tzu, Machiavelli, and more.

"I have always thought that The 48 Laws of Power would be a perfect fit for a series, bringing to life the timeless Machiavellian game of power as portrayed in the book. But it was not until Drake and Future with Anonymous Content approached me with their unique cinematic approach to the laws that I knew I could join forces with them and go all in for a filmed interpretation of my work," Greene said. Anonymous Content will spearhead the studio.

Although music videos might be the only time you see Drake on the television screen, for now, the 33-year-old has his hands in a couple of TV projects from Netflix to HBO. On the former streaming service, Drake executive produced London's hit series Top Boy. On HBO, the first season of Euphoria, which Drake recently posted a picture of a table read on his Instagram, is headed into its second season. The production is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Kenya Barris’ ‘#blackAF’ Netflix Series Debuts New Trailer

Kenya Barris is looking to command the Netflix universe with another program for the streaming giant titled #blackAF. The series, set to premiere on Apr. 17, will depict his parenting skills and family structure in “a total reboot of the family sitcom” dynamic.

The mockumentary stars Rashida Jones, with guest spots from Nia Long, Tyler Perry, Mike Epps and more. Barris will also step into a leading role, playing a version of himself. Its description reads: “With new money and expensive tastes, Kenya Barris and his family navigate success and explore the struggles of being unapologetically black and wealthy.”

The show arrives after Barris' previous sketch comedy series, Astronomy Club, which debuted in 2019. The 45-year-old director/writer has also created hit programming including his -ish canon of black-ish, grown-ish, and mixed-ish. Barris is also responsible for writing the sequel to Coming to America.

View the trailer below.

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‘Dutch’ Trailer Features Lance Gross, Macy Gray And More

In an adaptation of Teri Woods' best-selling Dutch novel, the film of the same name will finally hit theaters in Fall 2020. The movie stars Lance Gross, Macy Gray, Melissa Williams, James Hyde and more.

The motion picture is directed by Preston Whitmore (This Christmas) and tells the story of Bernard “Dutch” James Jr., an ambitious drug dealer who has his sights set on becoming the East Coast’s top drug lord while battling a high-profile court case.

"We really got our hands on an all-star cast," says Manny Halley, producer of Dutch and founder of Imani Media Group. "Dutch is an iconic story within the urban literary genre, so we had to get every detail right—and I think we did. Fans will be looking for us to finish the trilogy with this one!"

The book "Dutch" was part of a trilogy series that first began in 2003. It was followed by "Dutch II: Angel’s Revenge," and "Dutch III: International Gangster."

View the trailer above.

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