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Ice Cube & DeRay Davis Talk VH1's 'Hip Hop Squares', Tupac & Another 'Friday'

Th brand new 'Hip-Hop Squares' show debuted on VH1 earlier this wek. 

On Monday night (March 13), Ice Cube unveiled a new version of Hip Hop Squares on VH1. With Cube serving as the show’s executive producer, he hopes to remix the game show, which was on-air for one season in 2012 on MTV2.

Hosted by comedian and actor DeRay Davis, Hip Hop Squares follows the blueprint of the popular TV staple Hollywood Squares. While the format of the program will be similar, Hip Hop Squares will implement a tinge of diversity by nabbing stars from the worlds of music, sports and entertainment. For the show's inaugural season on VH1, Cube enlisted a bevy of hip-hop favorites including T.I., Fat Joe, French Montana, Remy Ma, Wale, Machine Gun Kelly to bring the humor and personality to his newest endeavor.

Billboard recently spoke with Ice Cube and host DeRay Davis on the creation of Hip Hop Squares, Tupac’s legacy, their memories from filming Barbershop, Chance the Rapper's philanthropic efforts in Chicago, and the possibility of another Friday movie.

READ: Chauncey Billups And Stephen Jackson Squad Up In Ice Cube’s Big3 Basketball League

Cube, what made you decide to make a hip-hop version of the Hollywood Squares?
Ice Cube: Well, you know, there was a version that MTV2 did awhile back and we had did something cool with VH1 when we was doing Barbershop 3. We did a town hall meeting in Chicago with VH1. It went so well that when they brought up this Hip Hop Squares idea, they asked if we can come on and just help give it the flavor that it needed so that it can work this time a little differently.

How will this version be different from the MTV2 version that Peter Rosenberg hosted in 2012?
IC: I think VH1 gotta be the top cable station right now. So, I just think the timing is right. Plus, we got DeRay and we got different stars who have a higher profile. We're dealing with some reality stars, too. I just think the energy is perfect this time, so hopefully, it'll work.

So DeRay, when the show approached to you, what were your initial thoughts?
DeRay Davis: I was excited about it because I knew what potentially it could have been before. I knew that once Ice Cube got a hold of it, it put a different brand on it. Before, it was just called MTV's Hip Hop Squares. When you hear Ice Cube produced [the VH1] version, that solidifies the hip-hop in it. It's like if a homeless person is trying to sell you a house, you're not paying attention to it as much. [Laughs.] But if you have somebody that's a realtor like Cube in the hip-hop world, you're willing to buy a house [from them]. So I think that definitely got me excited about it.

Did you go back and study previous hosts from Hollywood Squares after you took the job for Hip Hop Squares?
DD: I had watched it before so I knew who the hosts were. I didn't want to get too tainted by watching it and Cube, or somebody telling me to do something totally different. You know what it is. You know how to play the game. It's like the evolution of basketball. It's the same game, but the shoes have changed, the highlights are different, and the dunks are different, so I didn't have to research that.

READ: Allen Iverson Suits Up For 3’s Company In Ice Cube’s Big3 Basketball League

IC: Having DeRay was great because he not only knows his comedic timing, he could snap with the best of them. He can keep the game going and professionally moving. We wanted somebody like DeRay who can master all three of those phases, because we don't want nobody that's like Alex Trebek and shit, just delivering lines. We don't want somebody who's too into joking around instead of being a serious game show host. When we found out that DeRay was perfect at all three angles, he just fit it like a glove.

Continue reading at Billboard.

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Leslie Jones Expresses Disdain Over Upcoming ‘Ghostbusters’ Film

Earlier this month, it was announced that Ghostbusters will be re-imagined. While the news sat well with fans of the mid-80s cult classic, it struck a nerve with others that are attached to the movie’s cinematic lineage.

Comedian Leslie Jones took to her Twitter account to air out her opinion, stating the all-women cast of 2016’s rendition of Ghostbusters, which she was a part of, were overlooked. “So insulting. Like f**k us. We dint count. It’s like something Trump would do. (Trump voice) ‘Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain’t ghostbusteeeeers’ ugh so annoying,” she tweeted. “Such a d**k move. And I don’t give f**k I’m saying something!!”

The Saturday Night Live cast member also displayed how the upcoming film, which is slated to be released in 2020, and its possible all male cast will diminish the box office success of a cast spearheaded by women. “...if they make this new one with all me and it does well which it will, it might feel that ‘boys are better.’ It makes my heart drop,” she said. “Maybe I could have use different words but I’m allowed to have my feelings just like them.”

So insulting. Like fuck us. We dint count. It’s like something trump would do. (Trump voice)”Gonna redo ghostbusteeeeers, better with men, will be huge. Those women ain’t ghostbusteeeeers” ugh so annoying. Such a dick move. And I don’t give fuck I’m saying something!!

— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) January 19, 2019

It’s very sad that this is response I get.When the point is if they make this new one with all men and it does well which it will. It might feel that “boys are better”it makes my heart drop. Maybe I could have use different words but I’m allowed to have my feelings just like them

— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) January 20, 2019

The all-women adaptation of Ghostbusters, which also starred Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Jones’ fellow SNL cast mate Kate McKinnon, netted $180 million at the worldwide box office at its time of release. While it was one of the most talked about films of that year, during the press run Jones received a wave of racist comments from social media users, a moment that led the entertainer to take a step away from the Twitter platform.

“You have to hate yourself to put out that type of hate. I mean on my worst day I can’t think of this type of hate to put out,” she said.

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An Unofficial Documentary About Drake Is Currently On Streaming Services

An unauthorized documentary about the rise of musician Drake can be viewed on video distribution services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Drake: Rewriting the Rules initially dropped on Vimeo in Nov. 2018, and now, fans of the "God's Plan" musician will have a chance to watch it at their leisure on other platforms.

The documentary chronicles the music superstar from his days growing up in Toronto, to portraying Jimmy on the hit-teen drama Degrassi, to becoming a hip-hop star and working with musicians from Kanye West to his Young Money leader, Lil Wayne.

"Discover the untold story of how Drake rewrote the rules and rose from a child actor to become a cultural phenomenon and global musical icon," writes IMDb of the film's synopsis. "He is the king of pop and hip hop, combining many musical styles into one mainstream sound." The film runs 74 minutes long. Interviews from media figures and writers are included in the doc, which was directed and written by British filmmaker Ray King. However, no representatives from Drake's team are included.

Drake has not commented on the doc as of press time. He has been relatively quiet in the news, however, it's being reported that he is close to securing a residency of sorts at the Wynn's XS Nightclub in Las Vegas.

 

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Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Nason said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.

 

 

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