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Lin-Manuel Miranda On Growing Up In NYC, 'Hamilton' And Innermost Thoughts

"I just wanna make the best of the time I have now. It's very wired into my bloodstream."  

Lin-Manuel Miranda kept it all the way real in his latest interview with GQ. The superstar actor, playwright and musician just finished his run as Alexander Hamilton in his legendary musical, Hamilton, this past July. Now, he's working on a remake of Mary Poppins in London with Emily Blunt, and his musical In The Heights is set to become a feature film.

Aside from being one of the most recognizable and prolific figures in American theater, Miranda is a true New Yorker who finds his solace around 168th Street. He also tackles many of his innermost thoughts head-on and is "acutely aware" of the showbiz world he chose to be a part of. Check out some of our favorite blurbs from his interview below.

On separating his role in Hamilton from his real life:
"I ?nd that, for me, the work is a safe place to put all the stuff you don't want to put in your real life. I don't want to be a crazy, manic a**hole. I don't want to have an affair. I don't want to have a f**king gun?ght. But! There's a part of your brain that wants to experience everything, and so work's a safe place to explore it all. Both in the writing and in the performing. I get to write about an affair. I get to have the guilt and the feeling of that without having to f**k my life up. [laughs]Art is the place to safely explore all those other sides of you, because the side you want to bring home is the side that wants to be a good father and be a good husband and be a good son. In art we can be f**king nuts. So I didn't have any depression left to play outside of the theater.I was like a dry sponge at the end."

On the inspiration behind the Hamilton mixtape:
"I'm a fan of every single person who's working on it. And that's from the newer kids like Chance the Rapper to Busta Rhymes, who was the first rapper I thought of for this project when I was still reading chapter 4 of the Chernow book. I came upon the character Hercules Mulligan, and I said, "That's Busta Rhymes!" So to have him participate in the mixtape is f**king insane! The best way to describe the mixtape is that I drew on all my heroes to write Hamilton, and the mixtape is me taking Hamilton to all my heroes and saying, "What does this inspire you to make?" It's my heroes in the hip-hop sphere, and favorite songwriters of mine, like Regina Spektor, Ben Folds, Ingrid Michaelson. It's all over the map."

On feeling most comfortable being in New York:
"My wife and I left town for a week and a half on vacation...and I was tearfully glad to see the George Washington Bridge again. I relax more in my neighborhood because I know where all the stuff is. I feel comfortable with the noise and seeing other Latinos around me, and there's an ease I feel from 168th Street to the end of the island that I don't feel anywhere else on earth."

On his thoughts regarding death, and how he makes art from his thoughts:
"I mean, it's a mix of growing up and going to therapy and realizing you're not alone. After I broke up with my high school girlfriend, I spent the summer in therapy. There was no stigma in that. My mom is a psychologist. My parents met at NYU grad school for psychology. So I only regret that I waited so long to do it, you know? [laughs] I should have done it at 14, not at 19. And the best thing about going to see a psychologist is you say, "I've never told anyone this," and you unload your deepest, darkest thought in your head, and they go, "Okay." And you go, "But you don't think I'm the worst person in the world or I'm the best person in the world or like a crazy person?" And they go, "No, that's really normal. A lot of people feel like that." And, you know, my preoccupation with death was one of those things. You work out the stuff you've built up in your head, and you talk it out until you can lay it on a table and look at it and go, "Well, that's f**king crazy." And that's true, but I don't have to sit with it all the time. It doesn't have to rule me."

On his upcoming role as lamplighter Jack in Mary Poppins:
"Mary Poppins is to be directed by Rob Marshall, the guy who knows how to direct modern musicals. This was a formula that was put in a bottle and thrown in the sea. Hollywood forgot how to do it for a really long time. What I'm excited about in London is surrendering to a different artistic world and seeing what that brings out when I'm singing, dancing, and being an actor for hire. What will that free up in the rest of my brain? I have ideas for what I think I can write next, but that may totally change once I'm out there. I never really lived in another country for this long. I didn't do it in school. I was too busy making sh**. So I'm, you know, it's my year abroad."

Read the entire interview here.

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Cardi B performs on day 1 of Music Midtown at Piedmont Park on September 14, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Cardi B's Latest Freestyle Fuels Anticipation For Sophomore Album

Cardi B is sparking more anticipation for her next album thanks to her latest freestyle. On Monday (Nov. 19), the rapper dropped some bars on Instagram to hold fans over until the release of her sophomore project.

"Just a little something something... hair on healthy," she captioned the freestyle over Cam'ron's classic track, "357." Keeping it natural and raw, the Bronx native posts up in front of Cap'n Crunch and a Costco box full of Vienna sausages to drop her freestyle about the wins and losses she's taken this year.

"I be in the mansion, you be in my mentions / I came right out the trenches to the top of the charts / Lost friends on the way / This s***t is breaking my heart / 'Bout 30 seconds in I'm like where do I start / I don't act I'm a hustler just playing my part,"  she spits.

If anything, this can be a hint to fans that she's gravitating back towards her hip-hop roots, an element heavily heard on her debut album, Invasion of Privacy. In a recent interview with Billboard, Cardi talked about her new album and curiosities about its direction.

"There's certain music that I want to do, but I feel like, [are] people interested in that? I feel like things have changed. It's more like a twerk sound going on right now," she said. "It's just like, 'Should I just do my music around that?' But I cannot just go with what's hot. I still gotta go with what I want to do."

Cardi has no problem adapting to popular music. She's worked with the likes of Selena Gomez on DJ's Snake's "Taki Taki" with Ozuna in 2018 and took her guest spots to another level in 2019 by working with Ed Sheeran ("South of The Border"), Lil Nas X ("Rodeo") and French Montana ("Writings On The Wall"). She also dropped a show-stopping video for "Press" over the summer.

But at the end of the day, Cardi's new music is coming first. "My album is on my mind 24/7,"she said. "It's practically all I'm focusing on."

Enjoy her freestyle (and sleek blowout) below.

 

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Just alittle something something ......hair on healthy.

A post shared by Iamcardib (@iamcardib) on Nov 18, 2019 at 6:55pm PST

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Love To See It: DaniLeigh Choreographed DaBaby's Extraordinary "BOP" Video

Nearly reaching 10 million views in a matter of days, DaBaby's "BOP" music video teaser has A-1 editing, hilarious characters (recorder guy) and perfect choreography. As it turns out, we have DaniLeigh to thank for the rapper's smooth dance moves.

The singer-songwriter teamed up with choreographer Coach Cherry to share her eclectic dance style with the buzzing rapper. "BOP" dropped Friday (Nov. 15) as "BOP on Broadway" with a bevy of dancers taking part in the one-shot style video. Directed by Reel Goats, the teaser feels like the full music video for the single thanks to the three different dance flows including a surprising set by the iconic Jabbawockeez.

DaniLeigh's influence can be felt throughout the video thanks to her signature moves. With her own video reaching 100 million views on YouTube, the singer continued her winning streak with the remix for "Easy" featuring Chris Brown.

The video earned her a Soul Train Music Award nomination for "Best Dance Video" and inspiration for lovers of dance challenges. The Dominican-American might look familiar to many thanks to her contribution to the infamous #InMyFeelings challenge where she managed to hop and bop out of moving car. Ironically, the "Lil Bebe" singer started her career as a backup dancer for the likes of Nelly Furtado and Pharrell. She also choreographed and wrote the treatment for Prince's visuals for "Breakfast Can Wait."

"He wanted it really big in the dance industry so from there, I held auditions and did this video on my own," an 18-year-old Dani told VIBE in 2013. "It's crazy and hard to believe but it was great."

Dani recently released "Cravin" featuring G-Eazy and dropped her debut project The Plan late last year.

Check out the visuals to "BOP" below.

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Netflix Drops Preview Of 'Selena: The Series'

In a video that has amassed over 62,000 views since its Nov. 12 debut, Netflix posted a sneak peek into its upcoming Selena: The Series—Part 1. Within the 60-second clip, viewers witness actress Christian Serratos as the Tejano legend, preparing for a performance in one of Selena’s most iconic outfits.

Serratos has starred in hit series like The Walking Dead, Twilight, American Horror Story: Murder House, and more. In a statement published by Deadline, the show's production company Campanario Entertainment and its president/co-founder Jaime Dávila, praised Serratos for stepping into the "Dreaming Of You" singer's shoes.

“Selena is an inspirational figure who’s transcended generations. At Campanario, we’ve always known it was crucial for this series to find actors with the right mix of talent, charisma, and passion to honor Selena’s legacy and the story of her family,” said Davila. “Our casting director Carla Hool and her team have found an amazing cast to depict the Quintanilla family, and we’re sure fans everywhere will be captivated yet again by Selena’s incredible life.” On March 31, 1995, Selena was murdered, sparking a wave of tributes and films, such as 1997's movie starring Jennifer Lopez as the iconic vocalist.

The program, which chronicles Selena's life and career, is slated to premiere in 2020 with six hourlong episodes. Watch the preview above.

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