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Must-See Films Coming Out in 2014 [Video]

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We love being movie buffs. For that 2+ hour length of comedic, romantic, dramatic, or horrific storytelling, we get engulfed in these fantasies that compel us to want to see more. Last year was a huge year for African American directors and actors all across the board in Hollywood. Whether it was a "black film" or just a film with a myriad of black actors, the bar for quality portrayals and story lines has been raised. This year, the list of movies have grown and we're here for all the comedy and love scenes we can handle.

Flip the page to learn what movies are a must see this year.

Black Coffee
Opens: 1.10.2014
Starring: Lamman Rucker, Erica Hubbard, Darrin DeWitt Henson, Gabrielle Dennis, and Christian Keyes

Storyline: Robert (Darrin Henson) is down on his luck,loses his girlfriend and gets fired from his father's company on the same day. However, life gets better when he meets Morgan (Gabrielle Dennis) and the two are headed towards a loving relationship. If only they can keep both their exes from sabotaging their relationship. 

Ride Along
Opens:
1.17.2014
Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, and Tika Sumpter

Storyline: In order for Ben (Kevin Hart) to prove himself worthy enough to marry cop James' (Ice Cube) sister Angela (Tika Sumpter),  he joins his future brother in law for a 24-hour patrol around Atlanta.

Reasonable Doubt
Opens: 1.17.2014
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Dominic Cooper, Gloria Reuben, Erin Karpluk, Ryan Robbins, and Dylan Taylor

Storyline: After up-and-coming District Attorney Mitch Brockden (Dominic Cooper) is involved in a fatal hit-and-run, he helps acquit the man that took the blame for his crime. That's until he realizes the man is a murderer and he's on the hunt to stop him before more victims surface.

That Awkward Moment
Opens: 1.31.2014
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Zac Efron, and Miles Teller

Storyline: This movie follows three guys whose lives are changed by their relationships with various women.

About Last Night
Opens: 2.14.2014
Starring: Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Joy Bryant, and Michael Ealy

Storyline: The story of two couples: one competitive and the other on a journey of love.

Repentance
Opens: 2.28.2014
Starring: Forrest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Sanaa Lathan, Mike Epps, and Nicole Ari Parker

Storyline: When life-coach Thomas Carter (Anthony Mackie) agrees to help deranged Angel (Forest Whitaker) out, Carter against his is kidnapped and forced along with his wife--played by Sanaa Lathan--and brother (Mike Epps) to take a dark and twisted journey of forgiveness for their past sins.

The Single Moms Club
Opens: 3.14.2014
Starring: Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Amy Smart, Cocoa Brown, Tyler Perry, and Terry Crews

Storyline: A friendship is formed between 5 single moms who are forced to head their children's school fundraiser after all their kids are caught vandalizing school property.

A Haunted House 2
Opens: 3.28.2014
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Liana Mendoza, Dave Sheridan, and Iva La’Shawn

Storyline: After exorcising demons from his ex, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) thinks he's starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her children. However,  the paranormal activity reoccurs again.

Draft Day
Opens: 
4.11.2014
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Kevin Costner, and Jennifer Garner

Storyline: General manager Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner) of the Cleveland Browns must fight to get the number 1 draft pick to save football in Cleveland.

The Other Woman
Opens: 4.25.2014
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Nicki Minaj, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, and Nikolaj Costar-Waldau

Storyline: After two women--a wife and girlfriend--find out they are both with the same man, they band together to get revenge. However, once they realize there is a third girl in the mix, they plan the ultimate revenge.


Belle
Opens: 5.2.2014
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Coulston, and Susan Brown

Storyline: Inspired by the true story of Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a illegtimate mixed  race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her uncle Lord Mansfield. She's given certain privileges based on her lineage but her color prevents her from full enjoying them. However once she falls in love with an idealistic young man, together they help change her uncle's role to Lord Chief Justice to help end slavery in England.

Think Like A Man

Think Like a Man Too
Opens: 6.20.2014
Starring: Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Romany Malco, Megan Good, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, Lala Anthony, and Taraji P Henson.  

Storyline: The coupled up cast takes a trip to Vegas for a wedding.  However, after their romantic weekend plans go a-wall, their minor mishaps threaten to ruin the impending nuptials.

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Get On Up
Opens: 8.1.2014
Starring: Chad Boseman, Tika Sumpter, Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis, and Jill Scott

Storyline: The biopic of James Brown--played by Chadwick Boseman--from his poverty-stricken upbringing to his rise to stardom.

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Addicted
Opens: 9.5.2014
Starring: Sharon Leal, Kat Graham, Boris Kodjoe, William Levy, Tasha Smith, and Tyson Beckford

Storyline: A woman's addiction to sex threatens her family. Based on Zane's bestseller.

Taraji P Henson

No Good Deed

Opens: 9.12.2014
Starring: Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson

Storyline: A woman's (Taraji P Henson) life gets rocked when an unexpected guest claiming car trouble enters her house, leaving her fighting for her life.

Photo Credit: Getty

Denzel Washington Fences

The Equalizer
Opens: 9.26.2014
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz, Melissa Leo, Marton Csokas

Storyline: After quitting a CIA-like agency, a former covert operativer puts an ad in the classified section that reads "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer"

Photo Credit: Getty

vibe-vixen-quvenzhane wallis and jamie foxx on annie set2

Annie
Opens: 12.19.2014
Starring: Quevanzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Tracie Thoms, Dorian Missick, and Rose Byrne

Storyline: The remake of the child's story starring Quevanzhane as Annie.

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.
KMazur/WireImage

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.

 

Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/LxZfxcqRgF

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/BHlANZjCGZ

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/vLqLTVxqO9

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/ALDcT0ZQxR

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/zwk0AWMCoE

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/mM2GWEg1pe

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!pic.twitter.com/GfxBeJxUY1

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...

#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/iXNwssD3sY

— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/cGl269tuTr

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

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