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Eminem's 2012 VIBE Cover Story: 8 Miles and Runnin'

It took six weeks of rehearsals and reams of flubbed lines, but by the time 8 Mile hit theaters, Eminem had scored a hip-hop movie masterpiece. Shining a light on both sides of Detroit’s railroad tracks—trailer parks and battle cyphers—Em’s first leading role is a true underdog story, bolstered by callous punch lines and a guy named Cheddar Bob. Ten years after the classic film’s premiere, VIBE rounds up the gang—Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Anthony Mackie, Evan Jones and Omar Benson Miller—to wax cinematic. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime…
Written by Jeff Rosenthal

VIBE: Eminem, at the time you hadn’t really acted before; but the story was based in Detroit, based off of some of your life experiences. When the cameras stopped rolling, did you feel that you headed further into these guys’ world of acting, or they into yours?
Eminem (B-Rabbit): I definitely felt like I was about to embark on some shit that was not necessarily up my alley. It was all brand new, and I’m so glad I had all of these guys around me. My hardest part, was remembering the lines. ‘Cause really, all I had to do was take myself back into the mind frame of how I felt before I got signed with Dre. It wasn’t really too much to just be myself.
Anthony Mackie (Papa Doc): It was crazy for me because it was my first job. When we started, I didn’t really have no lines. Motherfuckers would be like, “Yo, your character sucks, so we just added this. Do this.” My biggest thing was just trying to be on the same level as Mekhi fucking Phifer.
Mekhi Phifer (Future): You pulled it off, Cat Daddy! You pulled it off!
Eminem: When I look back at the movie, one of the cool things is we all became friends on the set. The film carried over to how we [eventually] interacted in real life.
You always said this isn’t your life story. Does it matter that everybody thinks it is?
Eminem: It doesn’t really matter to me. People who really listen to my music probably know what’s real in that movie and what’s not. There were bits and pieces that were taken from my life, but for the most part, it was the story of the underdog. We rehearsed so much before we even started the film, and I was in every scene. I was there every day from 6 a.m. until—half the time—5 in the morning the next day. It became a point where I felt like I am this person. I’m fucking B-Rabbit because I was living this movie. I had no choice but to be him.
In hindsight, everyone thinks this movie was an easy decision, but the studio and Jimmy Iovine were wondering if this could hurt the Eminem brand. Mariah Carey’s Glitter had just tanked and the last time Universal had worked with a rapper was on Cool As Ice with Vanilla Ice. Mekhi, you initially passed on the movie. Why?
Phifer: I was due to start ER and 9/11 had just happened. They was like, “Okay, we want you to fly to Detroit.” It was like, September 13. “I ain’t getting on no plane! I’m staying here and I’m gonna be a doctor, Goddamn it!” I hadn’t read the script yet, and they were so hush-hush about the script that I had to sit and read it in [director] Curtis [Hanson’s] office because they weren’t releasing it. But when I read it, I thought, Oh, this is kinda slick! They had me go to Detroit to see if me and Em was going to have chemistry…This cat became my man so fast that I was like, “This is gonna be dope.” And when I met all the rest of the guys, I was all in. It was the best decision I ever made.
Omar Benson Miller (Sol George): 8 Mile is so revered, it’s like everywhere I go, somebody’s talking about it. Yesterday, me and Cheddar were walking down the street, heads down, and some kid walked up to us from behind and was like, “Anything goes when it comes to hoes/I’m the kingpin when it comes to flows…”
Evan Jones (Cheddar Bob): [Laughs] Yeah, who wrote that rap?
Eminem: That shit should’ve been a single. “Ten freaky girls! Ten! Ten!”
Benson Miller: I just want to bring up something: Because of Em’s celebrity, not being able to move around so much, Proof was out there a lot. And I can remember the wrap party literally... We kept singing the song and they didn’t want to let me and Cheddar into the wrap party because they didn’t know who we were. Proof came out and it was all good! I’ve been doing movies for a while now, and there’s a lot of funny dudes out there. The inclusive nature of you guys, Em and Mekhi, who were already on and who were senior to us in that sense, was great. It was really something special.
Eminem: I definitely appreciate that.
Phifer: You’re cool cats. Y’all made it easy on us.
Mekhi, your character was based off of Proof. Did you have any long conversations to try and really understand who he was?
Phifer: I definitely spoke to Proof. I didn’t sit him down, because to me the character spoke for itself. I mean, I wanted to portray him as he was in ’95. That’s why you see me with that wig, that crazy wig! [Laughs] And that even came down to the wire—we almost couldn’t do dreads because they couldn’t get the wig right.
Eminem: [Laughs] We used to call Proof “the Wolverine” because at the Hip-Hop Shop, his hair was crazy. I think that, for the most part, being that I wasn’t playing Marshall, Mekhi’s character didn’t have to be exactly like Proof. As long as it had that authenticity, which I felt it did. He just had to be Detroit.
Evan, what was Eminem like in those first rehearsals?
Eminem: I was a fucking dick! [Laughs]
Jones: Like everyone’s been saying, he was fantastic. Right off the bat, he took us to the Detroit Lions game. On the way back, you jumped in our car and played us some new tunes off your album [The Eminem Show], and it was so good. You made us all feel like family.

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Rep. Maxine Waters meets with CBS Vice President of News and Executive Director of Staff Development and Diversity, Kim Goodwin, and CBS Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief, Christopher Isham, on Capitol Hill. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Waters Office)

Maxine Waters Meets With CBS To Discuss Media Diversity And Inclusion

California Rep. Maxine Waters met with CBS' Vice President of News and Executive Director of Staff Development and Diversity to discuss the lack of media diversity and inclusion within the media empire.

Their meeting steemed from the network's recent release of their predominately clear  team for the coverage of the 2020 presidential election. Comprised of 4 white producers, 5 white-passing reporters and 3 journalists of color, though the 2020 campaigns reporting staff does not have any black anchors.

It's Official: The @CBSNews 2020 Election Team has assembled! https://t.co/0GBCw4mj7s pic.twitter.com/E0rUDAkzf7

— Ben Mitchell (@bfmitchell) January 11, 2019

Waters, like other prominent speakers in the black community, have discussed their reluctance to embrace the staff citing issues with who will tackle the roles that racism will play in elections and the role racism has been playing in the United States. Taking the issues directly to the source, the congresswomen had a discussion with the higher up's to talk redirection.

“The CBS representatives accepted full responsibility and understood the troubling optics-- and subsequent public backlash -- that occurred as a result of the rollout of their 2020 presidential election team. CBS admitted that the initial 2020 campaign team did not reflect the diversity that the company had committed to; assured me that it will not happen again; and revealed that in the coming months they will unveil a more diverse and inclusive slate of African American journalists and journalists from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences,"  Waters said in a press statement.

"They also identified key individuals in Washington, D.C. and New York City, NY whom they have brought onto their team to fulfill this mission and ensure their news organization reflects the diversity of the country and the communities who will most certainly be engaged in the 2020 elections."

The 43rd district representative has vowed to hold CBS accountable for their diversity issues and is dedicated to working alongside her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus.

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Woman Alleges R. Kelly Sexually Abused Her At 16 In 'Dateline' Interview

Tracy Sampson, a woman who interned with Epic Records at 16, revealed she endured sexual relations with R. Kelly that summer of 1999.

Featured on Dateline NBC's "Accused: The R. Kelly Story," the now 36-year-old appears in her first on-camera interview where she details the relationship that began during her formative years.

Sampson said the singer asked her, "'Can I kiss you?' and I was like, 'No,'" to which he responded, "'Well, give me a hug.' And then, like, when I gave him a hug he just started kissing me."

"I was in love with him," she continued. "I just didn't know what to do. Like, I didn't know if this was normal. I didn't know if this is how adults acted."

Following the incident, Sampson filed a lawsuit against Kelly in 2002. Her suit was settled to the tune of $250,000.

Steven Greenberg, Kelly's current attorney, told NBC that he was not part of the artist's legal team when the alleged abuse took place but maintains that his client is innocent.

According to Greenberg, there is no evidence that proves Kelly, 52, engaged in sexual relations with underage girls "because it didn't happen." However, Surviving R. Kelly calls that statement into question with a six-episode program detailing the sexual and mental abuse endured by some women who met Kelly while underage. Lisa Van Allen, for instance, met the "Sex Me" singer at the age of 17.

NBC's take on the groundbreaking series comes just two weeks after the explosive Lifetime production. The special will air Friday (Jan. 18) at 10 pm EST.

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Princess Nokia Accuses Ariana Grande Of Ripping Off Her Song For '7 Rings'

While some corners of the Internet are rejoicing in Ariana Grande's new trap-influenced single and video for "7 Rings," other members are crying "plagiarism" after Princess Nokia pointed out that the Thank U, Next single sounds suspiciously familiar to her song, "Mine."

"Oh! Oh! Wow!” Nokia says while playing the two songs back-to-back on her Instagram page. “Does that sound familiar to you, because that sounds really familiar to me!"

She later point out that her song "Mine" off of her 2017 project 1992 Deluxe is written for a different demographic that the majority of Grande's fans.

"Oh my god. Ain’t ["Mine"] the little song I made about brown women and their hair? Hmm… sounds about white," Nokia continues. "7 Rings" features an interpolation of The Sound Of Music's "My Favorite Things," and features a flow reminiscent of Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag." However, the similarities between Nokia's "Mine" and Grande's new song are indeed striking, specifically the cadence for the repeated lines ("it's mine, I bought it" for Nokia and "I want it, I got it" for Ari), as well as the flow for the pre-chorus.

Grande hasn't commented on the allegations, however, Twitter users are jumping to Nokia's defense.

"@ArianaGrande when you heard Mine by Princess Nokia did you listen to the words telling you not to appropriate or were just plotting on how else you can capitalize on black culture and grabbed the beat with no credit," one user wrote.

What do you think?

 

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@arianagrande

A post shared by Princess Nokia (@princessnokia) on Jan 18, 2019 at 9:30am PST

 

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