Interview: Wiz Khalifa Talks 'Blacc Hollywood' Album: 'It's 80’s Inspired, Punk Inspired’

With over 60,000 people crowding the Ben Franklin Parkway at this year's past Made In America Festival, maneuvering around the sea of people was no easy task. As I was talking to a young lady who worked for MTV, there it was: the text from my editor letting me know it was go time. Through late email correspondence, I was one of a select few given access to interview Wiz Khalifa. I made my way over to a well-guarded section of the press area, where it looked like a Pittsburgh Steelers linemen meeting rather than a green room.Introductions were made and I could already tell that the same laid-back persona that Wiz puts on stage and portrays through his music is whom he was when the cameras were off. We shared small talk, talking about how he randomly met my father in an airport, and how he thought Ishkabbible’s, my favorite Cheesesteak spot in town, had declined over the years. Afterwards, we got down to business.

So tell me about your new album, “Blacc Hollywood?”
“It’s really an artistic expression, and a lifestyle and a feeling. I’m saying things that people couldn’t really say on an everyday basis. It’s ‘80’s inspired, punk-inspired’ and you basically take whatever it is you have and make it the sh*t. That right there is what the album is all about.”

Coming into the game with some time in the industry, with your new sounds and your willingness to blend sounds together, do you see this happening all over?
“Yeah, I see people experimenting and having fun. Being through different cycles of the game, I’ve seen things change and come back full circle. I enjoy meeting new people, and younger people with fresh ideas. It keeps me sharp and keeps me creative. “

What are your thoughts on “Made In America?” and what it does for the music industry?
“I love it. It brings artists together who’ve heard of each other and might even be fans of each other in one space, and those meetings are how some really creative sh*t can come together. And it’s good for the people, fans of different genres being introduced to new music and taking that home with them, it’s a dope experience.”

So with your label mate “Uncle Juice” (Juicy J) dropping his new album, “Stay Trippy” recently, how do you feel about the project?
“Man, Juice is a legend. He knows how to work and go in the studio and just knock out bangers. For him to have a career for so long and touch so many fans across that span of time, it’s amazing. I learn so much from him on a day-to-day basis. And the album is 100% Juicy J, you know what you’re getting from that, and I’m sure the people will really love it, as well.”

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Marvel Announces Mahershala Ali Will Take The Screen As The Next 'Blade'

Over the weekend, as the East Coast was beating the heat, comic enthusiasts gathered in San Diego for Comic-Con 2019. On Saturday (July 20), Marvel Studios got movie-goers amped in standard form by announcing their slate of movie releases for the next few years, but threw an added surprise in the mix. Not only is the studio delivering a new version of Blade, but it will be fronted by none other than Mahershala Ali. The accomplished actor, who took home Oscars for both Moonlight and Greenbook, was on-hand to celebrate the moment.

There’s just one more thing... #SDCC pic.twitter.com/0Q3F4AZJLg

— Dustin Sandoval @ #SDCC (@DustinMSandoval) July 21, 2019



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Just announced in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel Studios’ BLADE with Mahershala Ali. #SDCC

A post shared by Marvel Studios (@marvelstudios) on Jul 20, 2019 at 6:43pm PDT

After the triumph of Black Panther and a host of other inclusive super hero movies in the last couple years, Ali carrying the torch after Wesley Snipes immortalized the role is a win.

The Comic Con celebrations didn't stop there. Other major Marvel titles announced starring some of our faves included Eternals in 2020 (Brian Tyree Henry), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in 2021 (Awkwafina), THOR: Love and Thunder in 2021 (Tessa Thompson), Black Widow in 2020, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in 2021 in theaters, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in 2020 (Anthony Mackie), WANDAVISION in 2021 (Teyonah Parris), WHAT IF...? in 2021 (Jeffrey Wright), Hawkeye in 2021, and LOKI in 2021 for their Disney+ streaming service.

No release date for Blade has been announced.

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Michelle Obama Named Most Admired Woman In The World

Michelle Obama is the most admired woman in the world according to an annual survey conducted by research firm, YouGov.The former first lady beat out previous champion, Angelina Jolie, who slipped to third place behind Oprah Winfrey, while Queen Elizabeth and British actress Emma Watson rounded out the Top 5.

Fellow former first lady, Hilary Clinton, came in at No. 8, two spaces behind activist Mala Yousafzai, and ahead of Nobel Prize winning chemist Tu Youyou, Taylor Swift, and Madonna. Current first lady Melania Trump landed near the end of the list at No. 19.

Billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates was again named the world’s most admired man, a title that he has won every time that the survey has been conducted. Former President Barack Obama came in second on the men’s roster followed by Jackie Chan, Chinese president  Xi Jinping and Chinese businessman Jack Ma. The Top 10 includes footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, the Dalai Lama, Russian president Vladimir Putin, and billionaire Warren Buffet. President Donald Trump is at No. 14 on the list behind Elon Musk and just ahead of Pope Francis.

Although the women’s list changed this year, the men’s list has remained the same since last year’s survey. For the first time ever, YouGov expanded its polling to more than 42,000 people across 41 countries. Participants are asked who they truly admire where they can choose multiple options, and “who do you MOST admire” where they can only pick one person. In December, YouGov collected “opened ended nominations” with the question: “Thinking about people alive in the world today, which [man or woman] do you most admire?” The nominations were used to compile a list of 20 men and women in at least four different countries.

Besides topping the women’s and men's lists respectively, The Obamas secured the No. 1 spot on the tally of most admired man and woman in America. Trump landed in second place alongside Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Rapper Tay-K 47, whose given name is Taymor McIntyre, is on trial for the capital murder of Ethan Walker during a botched home invasion. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery, but not guilty to the capital murder charge.
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Tay-K Facing Up To 99 Years In Prison After Being Found Guilty Of Murder

A Texas jury found Tay-K guilty of murder and three counts of aggravated robbery Friday (July 19) in connection with a 2016 home invasion that left one man dead and another wounded. According to The Star-Telegram, jurors deliberated for around four hours before returning a verdict.

The 19-year-old rapper, born Taymor McIntyre, is facing five to 99 years in prison but avoided a capitol murder conviction which would have ended in automatic life in prison. The jury will likely return a sentence Monday (July 22).

During a court hearing earlier in the week, Tay-K pleaded not guilty to the murder of 21-year-old, Ethan Walker, and guilty to aggravated robbery charges in relation to injuring two other victims. “The Race” rapper, who went on the run after the incident, is one of seven people charged in the fatal robbery. Tay-K's lawyers argued that the gun that killed Walker was fired by his accomplice, Latharian Merritt. But prosecutors argued against the notion that Tay-K had no involvement in the fatal robbery as he was armed at the time.

He also stands accused of robbing and killing a 23-year-old man at a Chick-fil-A, as well a attacking and robbing a 65-year-old man while on the run from authorities in 2017.

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