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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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Beyonce, Billy Porter, Cynthia Erivo And Eddie Murphy Snag Golden Globes 2020 Nominations

The nominees for the 77th Annual Golden Globes have been announced. Harriet actress Cynthia Erivo has been nominated for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama." Comedy legend Eddie Murphy snagged a "Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy" nomination for his role in Dolemite is My Name. Hustlers star Jennifer Lopez has also been nominated for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture."

Entertainer and entrepreneur Beyoncé joins Erivo in the "Best Original Song - Motion Picture" category as their "Spirit" (The Lion King) and "Stand Up" (Harriet) singles go head to head. Speaking of The Lion King, the live-action film has also been nominated for the "Best Motion Picture - Animated" category. Billy Porter has been added to the "Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama" ballot for his award-winning role in FX's Pose.

As for the networks and platforms with the most nominations, Netflix came out on top with a total of 17 nominations, HBO snagged 15 nods and Sony Pictures Releasing has taken home 8 nominations. You can see the full list of nominees here. Among the major snubs are Ava Duvernay's award-winning film When The See Us and HBO's hit series Watchmen starring Regina King.

Hosted by Ricky Gervais, the 2020 Golden Globes ceremony is set to take place at the Beverly Hilton on Sunday, January 5 and air at 8 pm EST on NBC.

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(L-R) Cast of Upn's 'Moesha'—William Allen Young, Yvette Wilson, Shar Jackson, Ray J, Brandy, Marcus T. Paulk, Lamont Bentley, And Sheryl Lee Ralph—celebrate the 100th episode of the comedy series.
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A 'Moesha' Reboot Is On The Way

Moesha is returning to television as a reboot.

Former castmates Brandy Norwood and William Adam Young joined Sheryl Lee Ralph at her 29th Annual DIVA Foundation event over the weekend (Dec. 1) to confirm the rumor of the '90s sitcom's return to the small screen.

“We would like to know, would you like to do a ‘Moesha’ reboot?” asked Lee alongside Young. Brandy responded with a smile, “Yeah, absolutely. I’m here for it. I'm here to solidify that we’re gonna bring Moesha back.”

Moesha aired on UPN—once known as the home network for other popular black sitcoms like Girlfriends, Everybody Hates Chris, All of Us and One on One—from 1996 until 2001. During its 6-season run, the series followed a middle-class black family through the lens of an ambitious and ever-learning Moesha Mitchell, a teenager going through what many teenagers go through while living in South Central Los Angeles. The comedy-drama series was also known for its musical guests which included Big Pun, Dru Hill, Mary J. Blige, Silk, Soul 4 Real, and Xscape.

No word on what the reboot will be called, whether production has begun or if other former castmates Countess Vaughn, Marcus T. Paulk, Shar Jackson or Fredro Starr will be involved.

Unforgettable Fact: Moesha worked at VIBE Magazine as a gofer at the beginning of Season 5.

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Questlove To Direct 'Black Woodstock' Documentary On Legendary Harlem Music Festival

Questlove will make his directorial debut with an upcoming documentary about a legendary black music festival, Variety reports. Black Woodstock, chronicles the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which featured performances from Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight and The Pips, B.B. King, The Staples Singers, Sly and the Family Stone, Mahalia Jackson, Moms Mabley, and more.

The weekly summer music festival, aimed at promoting black unity and pride, was attended by over 300,000 people and went down every Sunday for two months in the summer of 1969. Members of the Black Panther Party provided security for the festival after the NYPD refused the job.

A concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Black Woodstock was held at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park earlier this year. The documentary will include dozens of hours of never-before-seen footage shot 50 years ago by director Hal Tulchin, who died in 2017.

“I am truly excited to help bring the passion, the story and the music of the Harlem Cultural Festival to audiences around the world,” Questlove said in a statement. “The performances are extraordinary. I was stunned when I saw the lost footage for the first time. It’s incredible to look at 50 years of history that’s never been told, and I’m eager and humbled to tell that story.”

David Dinerstein and Robert Fyvolent will produce the film along with RadicalMedia, the company behind the Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? Joshua L. Pearson, who edited the Simone documentary, has also signed on for Black Woodstock, as well as music supervisor Randall Poster. Executive producers include Beth Hubbard, Vulcan Productions, Concordia Studio, Play/Action Pictures.

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