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Show Review: Kendrick Lamar Dazzles At Maxim's Big Game Weekend

This weekend MAXIM held its annual “BIG GAME WEEKEND” presented by Talent Resources Sports. The two night VIP bash was held at the 10,000 square foot Espace in New York City and brought out several stars in the realms of entertainment, music and sports. Among those in attendance for Friday night’s kick-off party were Justin Bieber, Jill Zarin, The Bella Twins, Aaron Paul and featured a special DJ performance by EDM artist Dirty South.

Saturday night’s party saw a number of celebrities drop by including Steven Tyler, Alyssa Milano, Steve Howey, Terrell Owens, Joey Fatone, Bow Wow, Jermaine Dupri, and Taye Diggs. Guests were able to enjoy delicious food from Chef Philippe Chow and specialty Patron Tequila cocktails. There was a strong presence of Maxim models posing for pictures, pouring ice luge shots and assisting with the themed digital photo kiosks. One kiosk had a number of humorous signs to use in your picture such as "Help me!!!! I have been taken by Maxim Models!!!" New York natives DJ Sinatra and JusSke had the crowd moving all night and the fun was infectious. As the clock approached 1:30 am, Grammy nominated hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar hit the stage and the excited crowd packed in as close as they could to the stage. Fresh off his Saturday Night Live performance with the Imagine Dragons just an hour earlier, Kendrick rapped “Swimming Pools (Drank),” “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” and “mAAd City.

Lavish Superbowl week parties are a big marketing opportunity but they are filled with intense competition. With the Superbowl in the huge market of NY/NJ, Maxim and Talent Resources Sports had to work to outdo last year’s event in New Orleans. While we’ll never see the months of preparation required for an event like this to come together, its results were clearly evident from the smiles from everyone enjoying a night of continuous fun.

Photo Credit: Getty

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Aaron J. Thornton

Elle Varner Hopes ‘Ellevation’ EP “Heals And Uplifts People”

Elle Varner is hoping that her Ellevation EP will be therapeutic for fans. The nine-track project, which is set to drop on July 12, comes seven years after Varner’s Perfectly Imperfect debut and features guest appearances from Wale and Rhapsody.

“There’s soo much I’ve wanted to communicate and express over these last few years and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than through my music,” Varner revealed last Thursday (June 20) in a candid Instagram post. “God continues to amaze me in the way that he has transformed so much of my pain and trauma into power and triumph. I pray that this record heals and uplifts people the way that it has been a part of my healing and #Ellevation.”

In closing, Varner added that she’s grateful to “everyone who has been a part of this journey and this music,” especially fans “who have stood by me through it all.”

 

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There’s soo much I’ve wanted to communicate and express over these last few years and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than through my music. God continues to amaze me in the way that he has transformed so much of my pain and trauma into power and triumph. I pray that this record heals and uplifts people the way that it has been a part of my healing and #Ellevation ❤️. I’m grateful to everyone who has been a part of this journey and this music! And especially grateful to the fans who have stood by me through it all ❤️🙏🏽🙏🏽. “Ellevation” July 12th #linkinbio

A post shared by Elle Varner (@ellevarner) on Jun 20, 2019 at 11:34am PDT

Last September, Varner released the EP’s lead single, “Loving U Blind.” The singer-songwriter dropped the Wale-assisted follow-up single, “Pour Me,” this past January.

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Justin Sullivan

San Francisco Becomes First Major U.S. City To Ban E-Cigarettes

San Francisco became the first major U.S. City to ban electronic cigarettes Tuesday (June 25). The measure restricts the purchase of e-cigarettes in the city in addition to barring residents from ordering them online and having them shipped to a San Francisco address, USA Today reports.

The new restriction was put in place in an effort to curb a rise in vaping among high schoolers, but opponents argue that adults consumers will suffer. The temporary prohibition is expected to last until e-cigarettes are up for safety review by the USDA sometime around 2022.

E-cigarette devices heat a liquid into an aerosol that the user then inhales. The liquid typically contains addictive nicotine, flavoring, and other “harmful” chemicals, per the U.S. Surgeon General. The use of e-cigarettes has reportedly “grown dramatically in the last five years.” Last year, 1 in 5 high school students reported using e-cigarettes at least once over the course of a month.

Juul Labs, a popular electronic cigarettes company, argues that adults who switched to vaping will be driven “back to deadly cigarettes” thanks to the ban. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Juul is working to lock in a ballot initiative that would allow the company to continue selling e-cigarettes in the city.

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Getty

Samuel L. Jackson To Portray George Clinton In Forthcoming Biopic

Samuel L. Jackson is set to portray George Clinton in a forthcoming biopic on record executive Neil Bogart, Deadline reports. The film, Spinning Gold, will feature music from an array of artists on Bogart’s Casablanca Records imprint including The Isley Brothers, KISS, Parliament, Bill Withers, Gladys Knight and Curtis Mayfield.

The upcoming production also features Kenan Thompson as Barry Gordy, while his former Saturday Night Live cast member, Jay Pharaoh, plays WBLS radio DJ Frankie Crocker. Jason Derulo portrays Ron Isley, D.L. Hugely signed on to play Bootsy Collins, and Jazmine Sullivan will take on the role of Knight. Steven Strait and Sam Harris, frontman of the rock band X Ambassador, plays KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The band's co-manager, Bill Aucoin, will be played by Neil Patrick Harris.

Bogart, who was born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, began his career as a singer in the 1960s before becoming a record executive at Cameo-Parkway Records and Buddha Records. Bogart founded Casablanca Records in 1973 and singed KISS to the imprint that same year. He became known for promoting funk and disco artists like Donna Summer, the Village People, and Clinton’s Parliament, whom he signed to the label in 1974.

Bogart died at age 39 from cancer and lymphoma.

Production on Spinning Gold, which is written and directed by Bogart’s son, Timothy Scott Bogart, will begin in Montreal on July 16.

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