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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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Queen Latifah Transforms Into Hattie McDaniel For Netflix Series

Queen Latifah takes on the role of Hattie McDaniel, the groundbreaking actress who made history as the first Black person to win an Academy Award, in a new Netflix miniseries. Entertainment Weekly published first-look images from the forthcoming show, Hollywood, on Wednesday (April 8).

Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan and Janet Mock are behind the seven-part series, which debuts on May 1.  Hollywood takes place during post-World War II Tinseltown and follows an “ambitious group of aspiring actors and filmmakers” who will do “almost anything” to make it big in show business.

The series stars David Cornerswet, Darren Criss, and Laura Harrier with a slew of supporting actors that include Queen Latifah, Rob Reiner, Mira Sorvino, and Katie McGuiness as Gone With the Wind’s Vivien Leigh.

 

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It's time to meet the supporting players of Ryan Murphy's #Hollywood! 🌟 We have your exclusive first look at many of the supporting characters in the upcoming Netflix series, including real-life Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel as portrayed by Queen Latifah. Tap the link in our bio to see all the photos. 📷: Saeed Adyani/Netflix

A post shared by Entertainment Weekly (@entertainmentweekly) on Apr 8, 2020 at 7:24am PDT

McDaniel’s historic Oscar win was of course shrouded in controversy given her role as Mammy in Gone With the Wind, a film that was boycotted and criticized over its blatant racism.

As for Queen Latifah, she has been busy both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Aside form Hollywood, the Queen joins Missy Elliott and Mary J. Blige as executive producers of the upcoming Lifetime biopic The Clark Sisters airing on Saturday (April 11).

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Cast of 'Hamilton' Surprises Young Fan On John Krasinski's 'Some Good News' Show

John Krasinski has brought smiles to The Office Fans with the launch of his creative Some Good News show on YouTube but the actor took things to another level by reuniting the original cast of Hamilton to surprise a nine-year-old girl.

Aired late Sunday (April 5), Krasinski welcomed Aubrey to the show after her parents shared how their daughter watched Emily Blunt's Mary Poppins Returns after she was unable to fly to New York to see Hamilton on Broadway. While social distancing is a brief new normal, Blunt who is married to Krasinski popped into their Zoom interview to surprise Aubrey.

But the good news didn't stop there. Krasinski then promised Aubrey he would fly her family to New York to see Hamilton once Broadway opens its doors. And miraculously, he managed to reunite the entire cast where they performed "Alexander Hamilton."

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Ramos, Jonathan Groff and more shocked the 9-year-old, who was left speechless during the performance.

Elsewhere in the broadcast, Krasinski shared good news from around the world, including many fans making their own version of the show. Robert De Niro also shares the weather in a very De Niro kind of way.

Krasinski, who also stars alongside Blunt in The Quiet Place, created the Some Good News show to prove positive news always wins. His first guest was none other than Steve Carell with the two talking about the 15th anniversary of the iconic Office series.

Enjoy the good news above.

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Will Smith Celebrates 25th Anniversary Of ‘Bad Boys’

Will Smith celebrated the 25-year anniversary of Bad Boys on Tuesday (April 7) with a special shout out to his co-star, Martin Lawrence, and the film’s director, Michael Bey, and producer, Jerry Bruckheimer.

“Today is 25 years since the first ‘Bad Boys’ came out!!! We really putting this ‘for life’ thing to the test,” Smith captioned a video of him and Lawrence promoting the film in 1995 along with their recent Bad Boys for Life promo run.

 

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Today is 25 years since the first @badboys came out!! We really putting this “for life” thing to the test @martinlawrence 🙂 @michaelbay @jerrybruckheimer

A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith) on Apr 7, 2020 at 12:03pm PDT

The first Bad Boys film was a box office hit raking in more than $140 million. The 2003 sequel nearly doubled the numbers of its predecessor.

Lawrence and Smith reprised their roles as detectives Mike Lowrey and Marcus Barnett in Bad Boys for Life, which grossed $425 million worldwide.

Speaking to VIBE during the film’s premier in January, the duo revealed the secret to maintaining a flow on screen after all these years. “A great deal of respect and love for each other,” said Lawrence.

Smith noted that their friendship contributes to why they work so well together. “You can’t really love somebody you don’t understand. If you don’t known what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, if you don’t understand what somebody needs, you can’t really love them and that’s what I was noticing about the two of us, we just understand each other.”

Watch the full interview below.

 

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