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10 People Who Deserve Their Own Reality TV Show Right Now

Reality, as they say, bites. Reality TV, however, does not. Although we know that some of you out there are probably sick and tired of reality TV shows right now, the truth is that reality TV is more popular than ever today. Just take a look at the cover of our new "Sexy Issue" featuring Kandi Burruss, Tamar Braxton, Evelyn Lozada, and Chrissy Lampkin. A few years ago, they probably wouldn't have landed on the cover of VIBE. But, they're such a force in popular culture—and amongst our readers—that we simply could not deny them a cover any longer. After the success of each of their respective shows, it made perfect sense for us to picture them next to the coverline "MEET YOUR NEW ROLE MODELS" on the cover of our new issue.

But, they're obviously not alone. If we really wanted to, we could have put together an entire reality TV issue. There are that many reality TV shows out right now. And yet, in the process of putting together this issue, we couldn't help but think about all of the other people out there right now that don't have their own reality TV show but deserve one. They're interesting. They're engaging. And, above all else, they lead lives that we'd really like to know more about. So, we put together a list of the 10 People Who Deserve Their Own Reality TV Show Right Now. If there are any TV producers out there looking for an idea, give one of these people a yell. Just don't forget where you got the idea.—Chris Yuscavage

The Person: Rapper Birdman
Why He Deserves A Reality TV Show: C'mon: Do we really have to explain this one? Try finding a Birdman interview from the last five years that you haven't liked. The guy is a quote monster. Plus, he's currently trying to build Cash Money Records into a billion-dollar operation, so we're sure there's a ton of behind-the-scenes stuff that he's involved in that would be fascinating. Oh, and he obviously rubs elbows with a ton of important people, too. If no one has at least tried to develop a Birdman reality TV show, we'd be very disappointed. Someone needs to make this happen.

The Person: Video vixen/author Karrine "Superhead" Steffans
Why She Deserves A Reality TV Show: Okay, we'll admit: There's the chance that this concept could be a complete disaster. In fact, there's a very good chance that it would be a complete disaster. But, we think it's worth the risk. Superhead's life seems to involve a bunch of the things that make for great reality TV, including drama, the search for love, and, well, the drama that comes along with the search for love. And, it's clear she's got some strong opinions on things. That'd have the Internets going nuts every week.

The Person: Rapper Joe Budden
Why He Deserves A Reality TV Show: If you still think Joey B is just the "Pump It Up" guy, you're sorely mistaken. Joe dates models, travels the world with his group Slaughterhouse, and—from what we've heard—throws one hell of a pool party. He also proved that his life was interesting enough for reality TV when he launched the Web-based "Joe Budden TV" a few years back. We'll admit that this show probably would have gotten the green light already if he was still with ex-girlfriend Tahiry. But, hey: The guy still leads a pretty interesting life, and we wouldn't mind getting a closer look at it.

The Person: Boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Why He Deserves A Reality TV Show: Technically, Money May has had his own reality TV show already. But, it was part of a reality series called 24/7 on HBO and it focused more on his career than his life. Outside of boxing, Mayweather seemingly enjoys gambling, hanging out with 50 Cent, going to strip clubs, spendings lots and lots of cash, and dating ridiculously hot women. Who wouldn't want to sit and watch him do those things for an hour every week? Trust us: He'd turn every single episode into a main event.

The Person: Hot 97 producer/DJ Funkmaster Flex
Why He Deserves A Reality TV Show: Flex already has a little bit of reality TV experience. He used to be part of a show that dealt with his love for cars. But, that's not what we're interested in here. We want to see what goes into making Flex the best radio DJ in New York City. He's the perfect example of a guy who we all feel we know so well because we hear him on the radio every day. And yet, we can't help but think that he's got an entirely different side to him when he's not on the radio.

The Person: Rapper Lil' Kim
Why She Deserves A Reality TV Show: We hate to say this, but we don't see Kim making a successful comeback in the rap game. Maybe we're wrong, but we don't see her revitalizing her career anytime soon. And, part of that is because she's had so much drama in other aspects of her life. So, why not use that to her advantage? Her BET reality show, Countdown to Lockdown, was a success back in 2006. So, maybe she should document the comeback she's been trying to make in order to give us all a better look at the drastic changes that have taken place in her life since then. And, who knows? That could be what she ultimately needs to get her comeback back on course.

The Person: Def Jam President Joie Manda
Why He Deserves A Reality TV Show: Last year, Def Jam celebrated 25 years in the game. But, with the addition of Joey I.E. to the roster earlier this year, things just got a whole lot more interesting with the company. They've got a handful of acts who joined the label recently—everyone from Amber Rose and Asher Roth to 2 Chainz and Big K.R.I.T.—and it'd be interesting to see how the new President handles his new responsibilities. It has to be stressful (and dramatic!) to be at the helm of a record label, especially one as prestigious as Def Jam, right now. That'd make for must-see TV.

The Person: Tattoo artist Mark "Mister Cartoon" Machado
Why He Deserves A Reality TV Show: Is it just us—or are tattoos out of control right now when it comes to rappers? Mister Cartoon is widely considered to be the original hip-hop tattoo artist, so he could help shed some light on how rap music and tattoos are interconnected. Plus, we're betting he still has a lot of rappers come through his shop to get tatted up. So, it'd be interesting to see how he handles his biz.

The Person: Celebrity photographer Johnny Nunez
Why He Deserves A Reality TV Show: These days, there are tons of photographers snapping rappers at parties and other events. But, once upon a time, Johnny stood alone. As a result, he's got hundreds of connections and often gets exclusive access to the stars. So, turning the camera around on him would give reality TV viewers a look into the life of someone who makes a living taking pictures of famous people. It'd also give us great access to the things Johnny gets to experience when he's on duty. Who wouldn't want to see that?

The Person: Video vixen Rosa Acosta
Why She Deserves A Reality TV Show: It seems like Rosa is at a crossroads in her career right now. On the one hand, she's a little too famous to simply be labeled a "video vixen." On the other, she's trying to find out what her next step should be. There have been a lot of girls who have come before her who have been in this same position and failed. So, her reality TV show would need to focus on what she's doing to push her career forward. At the same time, she kicks it with a lot of beautiful women like Amber Rose, so there'd be no shortage of star power and drama on her show. If the four ladies on the cover of the new VIBE have proven anything, it's that the world will never get tired of watching beautiful women live their lives.

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Lakeith Stanfield and Issa Rae in 'The Photograph'.
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Opinion: Black Romance Films Are Having A Moment

It began with a kiss. Just one decade after the birth of cinema, vaudeville actors and dancers Gertie Brown and Saint Suttle gleefully embraced one another on film. They held hands and locked lips, giving the world its very first image of Black romance and intimacy on-screen. 1898's Something Good-Negro Kiss proved that love and affection was at the center of Black life. More than that, intimacy has always been essential to the survival of our people. Now, some 120 plus years later— cinema has finally reached the point where it has expanded to allow complex images of Black love, across time periods, between same-sex couples, and more recently, without being bogged down in trauma and pain.

Before Good-Negro Kiss was discovered in 2018, one of the earliest versions of Black romance in cinema was 1954's Carmen Jones starring Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge. Filmed in sweeping cinemascope, Carmen Jones follows a soldier named Joe (Belafonte) who gets so enamored with Carmen (Dandridge) that he becomes obsessive, even going AWOL to be with her. Though the film is sexy, and the tension between the actors is palpable — the romance in Carmen Jones is stilted to make white audiences comfortable. Hollywood was only willing to see Black intimacy through the lens of a renowned musical, wrapped in what ultimately becomes a tragedy. By the end of the film, Joe murders Carmen out of obsession and jealousy. Despite Belafonte and Dandridge's determination to showcase their sensuality, the material only allowed them to go so far. This sort of restraint would become the blueprint for generations of Black romance films.

Considering the utter chaos of the 1960s, it's a wonder that 1964's Nothing But A Man was ever made. A decade after Carmen Jones, Hollywood felt it was time to roll the dice on something different. Starring Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln as Duff Anderson, a railroad worker, and Josie Dawson, a Birmingham school teacher, respectively, Nothing But A Man isn't packaged for white audiences like the musicals of the previous decades. However, the burdens and pains of the couple's relationship, namely Duff's flakiness about commitment and the rage he feels as a Black man living in the South, fall on Josie's shoulders. Moving into the 1970s with films like Claudine and Mahogany, and certainly, in the 1990s and early 2000s, Black romance on-screen would either be shrouded in comedic relief, or the relationships became the sole burden of the Black woman to bear. Often, both tropes were present.

Still, Black romance stories were always evolving. The 1980s sparked something new for Black sensuality in the movies. Though these were still heteronormative depictions, (aside from 1984's The Color Purple), films made significant steps forward in terms of diverse images of Black people. However, they still held on to sexist ideals. 1986's She's Gotta Have It used a Black woman's rape as a form of character development while 1988's Coming to America — billed as a comedy, rewarded its protagonist for lying to his love interest. This would become the formula for the many Black romance movies that came to fruition in the 1990s. Cheating, lies, abandonment, lack of accountability, and trauma are all very present in some of our most beloved films. Poetic Justice, Love Jones, Jason's Lyric, The Best Man, and Love & Basketball, all have some form of struggle love embedded within the narrative — typically leaving Black women wielding the shorter end of the stick.

Poetic Justice is riddled in misogyny, The Best Man has a serial cheater as a leading man, and in Love Jones, the lack of communication and accountability from both partners is dizzying. Moreover, women are often asked to overlook cheating, lying, manipulation, or being friend-zoned to present themselves as worthy of their male partner by the film's conclusion. Yet, in our quest to connect and see brown bodies sensually and romantically in cinema, we hold these films close to our hearts, overlooking many of the toxic traits of the characters.

Despite the mega success of Black films in the 1990s— following the debut of Gina Prince-Bythewood's Love & Basketball in 2000, Black stories in cinema, aside from a few here and there, were all but erased in Hollywood. Throughout this near decade-long drought, prolific director Tyler Perry was one of the only voices in the game. However, the quality of Perry's storylines, as well as the portrayal of his female characters, have proven to be problematic. These characters are often emotionally broken, angry, and at times unhinged. If and when they do find love in movies like 2005's Diary of An Angry Black Woman, 2008's The Family That Preys and 2009's I Can Do Bad All By Myself, it's after they suffer some dire consequence or horrific punishment. This was particularly jarring during a time when there were hardly any other mainstream film images of Black people on-screen.

Thankfully, as we pressed forward into the second decade of the 21st century, Black filmmakers, writers, and producers were knocking down doors in Hollywood once again. In 2012, Ava DuVernay stepped onto the scene with her stellar film, Middle of Nowhere. The film follows Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) grappling with the choice to leave her incarcerated husband, Derek (Omari Hardwick), to follow her dreams and possibly find new love with a bus driver named Brian (David Oyelowo). Though this was a significant shift in the way Black intimacy, sensuality, and romance was depicted in movies, the real transformation happened in 2016, with Barry Jenkins' Academy Award-winning, Moonlight.

Loosely based on screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney's real life, Moonlight puts the Black male coming-of-age story center stage. However, instead of honing in on the violence and despair of the inner city, like the hood homeboy films of the 1990s — Moonlight focuses on Black love between Black men. First, there is the relationship protagonist Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert) has with his father-figure, Juan (Mahershala Ali). Later, Chiron explores his queer identity with his classmate Kevin (Jharrel Jerome). The film is a sumptuous duality of hypermasculinity against lush sensuality. With this film, Jenkins effectively shattered our expectations regarding Black intimacy on-screen, while unraveling why Black love in all of its varied prisms deserves a spotlight in cinema.

Moonlight would pave the way for 2019's Queen & Slim and 2020's The Photograph. Two vastly different films, one— a harrowing dramatic thriller, centering Queen (Joe Turner-Smith ) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) who are forced together by circumstance. A dull Tinder date paves the way for a standoff with a racist police officer who eventually lays dead, prompting our leads to run for their lives.

Penned by Lena Waithe and directed by Melina Matsoukas — the film is almost an antithesis of what we've seen before when it comes to Black romance in the movies. Instead of the tried and true formula of a meet-cute, conflict, and resolution, Queen & Slim unites a Black man and a Black woman through Black radicalism. They come to lean on one another, inadvertently building a foundation when there is no one else either of them can trust or turn to. The weight of their relationship rests equally on both of their shoulders, as they become each other’s ride or die.

In contrast to Queen & Slim, writer/director Stella Meghie's The Photograph, is a much-deserved presentation of soft Black romance, without the trauma or brutality. The film follows Mae (Issa Rae), an art curator grappling with the death of her estranged mother, and Michael (Lakeith Stanfield) — a journalist who crosses paths with Mae's late mother's work. The film follows the typical romance formula, but the conflict and resolution aren't gut-wrenching or emotionally tumultuous. Mae and Micheal deal with real-life issues without being battered or broken. Both parties —like the lead characters in Queen & Slim, share the weight of their missteps and miscommunication. The Photograph is a recognition of straight-forward Black sensuality and love without the heaviness of Black pain. Despite all of this, the film has garnered mixed reviews. Since there isn’t any toxicity between the main characters or much comedy in The Photograph, it appears foreign to us. As a community, we’ve been conditioned to only recognize Black Love shrouded in chaos. Presently, Black women in particular, are asking Black people to look beyond archaic examples of love that are rooted in sexism, misogynoir, and rigid gender roles. Instead, Meghie presents two grown people who must hold themselves and each other accountable to have a chance at a loving and modern relationship.

Black women are also getting the opportunity to be seen as romantic leading women, in the broader scope of cinema alongside leading men from different cultures. Following the footsteps of the 2006 film Something New, where Sanaa Lathan's leading man was Australian actor Simon Baker, Issa Rae will become a leading lady once more in Netflix's The Lovebirds. The Insecure actress stars as Leilani, opposite Pakistani-American actor Kumail Nanjiani. Rae is a woman who is grappling with her strained relationship with her boyfriend, Jibran (Nanjiani). The couple's commitment to one another is hilariously put to the test when they suddenly find themselves in the middle of a chaotic murder mystery.

Black film, and undoubtedly Black romance film, has come a long way since that very first kiss was captured on-screen in 1898. With more women filmmakers at the helm, diverse projects, and the current wave of Black cinema in Hollywood, Black romance movies have the opportunity to give the next generations more nuanced depictions of connection, sensuality, sex, and intimacy. With films like Queen & Slim, Moonlight, The Photograph, and The Lovebirds — we have witnessed Black people from all walks of life and sexualities dive into romantic relationships with love, accountability, and self-awareness, which are truly the ultimate relationship goals.

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Black Thought And Questlove Secure First-Look Deal With Universal

Amir “Questlove” Thompson and Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter landed a three-year first-look deal with Universal. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the founders of the Legendary Roots Crew will create scripted and unscripted content for Universal Television Alternative Studio and Universal TV under the duo's Two One Five Entertainment imprint.

“This deal is very important to us as we've been content producers and storytellers for our entire career,” Questlove said in a statement on Wednesday (May 13). “A significant investment from Universal Television Alternative Studio and Universal Television in our vision allows us to share these stories on a much larger scale. Tarik and I see this as the next chapter to our careers, and we are very involved in the entire process. I'm directing, Tarik is writing and we both are producing.”

The deal extends the Roots decade-long relationship with NBC, first on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night talk show in 2009, and serving as the house band for NBC’s Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, which premiered in 2014. Questlove is also music director for the Tonight Show.

“Many of our initial projects have been music-centric content, and one of our goals is to become the premiere hub for music storytelling — a safe space for these stories to be shared across a variety of platforms,” added Black Thought. “Eventually we will expand outside of music with our stories. However, as we all know, every story has a rhythm and Two One Five Entertainment will harness that rhythm and create well-produced, compelling content.”

Two One Five Entertainment's roster of projects include the AMC docuseries, Hip Hop Songs that Shook America, along with Black Woodstock, chronicling the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. The company has also had a hand in the Broadway productions, Black No More and Soul Train the Musical.

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Actor, composer Lin-Manuel Miranda performs on stage during "Hamilton" GRAMMY performance for The 58th GRAMMY Awards at Richard Rodgers Theater on February 15, 2016 in New York City.
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Lin-Manuel Miranda's Original 'Hamilton' Play Heading To Disney+ This Summer

If you've been trying to get a hold of tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway since 2015, you're in luck. Playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Walt Disney Company decided to release the movie of the original Broadway production, just in time for Independence Day weekend.

The live stage filming—featuring the original cast of the insanely sold-out show and direction by Thomas Kail—was initially scheduled to premiere in theaters in October 2021 but will be streamable in two months on Disney+. Miranda and Disney's executive chairman Bob Iger delivered the announcement on Tuesday morning (May 12) on ABC's Good Morning America.

“We filmed this over three days in June of 2016," said Miranda. "It was the week before the principals started to leave, I think it was the week before Pippa (Phillipa Soo), Leslie (Odom Jr.) and I left, and Ariana DeBose from the ensemble… And it just captures that moment in time so beautifully. Watching it brings me right back there with that incredible, once-in-a-lifetime company, and I just can’t wait for you to see it."

JUST IN: @RobertIger and @Lin_Manuel Miranda announce the filmed version of “Hamilton” coming to @DisneyPlus July 3rd! https://t.co/hhsPclrwpn pic.twitter.com/XcrfdxGOJR

— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 12, 2020

After it's off-broadway premiere and popularity in 2015, Hamilton went on to win numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 11 Tony awards, and a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Hamilton was still playing in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London with plans of premiering in Australia.

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