Jamie Foxx Says A Night With Oprah, Quincy Jones, & Sidney Poitier Saved His Life

When Oprah speaks, you listen. 

Following the mega-success of the 2005 biopic Ray, Jamie Foxx had reached a whole new level of stardom. According to the Academy Award winner however, just as quickly as he skyrocketed to the top, he was on pace to blow his entire career even faster. That is until Oprah and her crew of A-list celebrities swooped in to the rescue. The Shazam host recently appeared on "The Howard Stern Show" on May 24, where he detailed the exact night Oprah and company saved his life.

Ironically, Foxx took a page from his 2008 hit single, and blamed it on the alcohol, confessing that he took up a life of frequent partying and drinking with his newfound success. That's when he received a call from Oprah herself, who blatantly said: "you're blowing it Jamie Foxx." "All of this gallivanting and all this kind of s**t that's not what you want to do. I want to take you somewhere to understand the significance of what you're doing," she added.

To the actor's surprise, Oprah invited him to Quincy Jones' house for her version of an intervention or Scared Straight situation. Inside, Foxx was greeted by Sidney Poitier and a number of other black Hollywood actors, who encouraged him to get on the straight and narrow.

Foxx didn't reveal how he was able to give his life of partying up, but whatever those Hollywood legends said to him worked. That same year, Foxx went on to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Collateral. Moral of the story: always listen to Oprah.

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Meek Mill Evaluates Real-Life Struggle In Amazon Documentary 'Free Meek'

Meek Mill is the subject of an upcoming documentary for Amazon. The documentary, entitled Free Meek, takes a hard look at the Philly rapper's rise to fame and his ongoing struggle within the criminal just system.

Meek shared the trailer for the Amazon Original film on Sunday (Mar. 17). He said the documentary "explores my life and the flaws in the criminal justice system that have haunted me and others like me." In addition to showing clips of the rapper performing onstage, it revisits his 2007 case, which led to his lengthy probation sentence.

"I never really looked at it like a nightmare," Meek says in the trailer. "I looked at it as real life for a black kid in America. It's just real life."

As you may know, Meek was sentenced to two to four years in state prison for violating the terms of his probation. He spent nearly five months in prison before he was released in Apr. 2018, pending the outcome of an appeal to the Pennsylvania supreme court.

Free Meek is slated to premiere on Amazon this summer 2019. Watch the trailer below.

 

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#FreeMeek explores my life and the flaws in the criminal justice system that have haunted me and others like me. Coming this Summer on @amazonprimevideo 📽🏆

A post shared by Meek Mill (@meekmill) on Mar 17, 2019 at 6:01am PDT

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'Boomerang' Episode 6 Recap: Homecoming

On this episode of BET’s Boomerang, the love story between Bryson and Simone begins with a flashback to their freshman year of college. After several years of not seeing one another since their childhood, Bryson is shocked to see a slick-back pony-tail wearing Simone insert herself into his class during a presentation. Nothing has changed with her. Even pre-bob and with Bryson rocking a sharp Steve Harvey-like hairline, even from their younger days, they have always been the dynamic duo of marketing strategy. The product featured this week: Pro-Black T-Shirts.

The devastation of not having his secret love in his life spills over into their sophomore year when a beanie-wearing David and Crystal are happy in their fake hood love. By this time, a rapper named Prisoner has all of Simone’s attention and this makes Bryson big mad. The man can’t even hide it. In an apparent fit of jealousy, he calls Simone out for living under her father’s shadow, in front of everyone. It’s safe to say that sophomore Bry struck out badly.

This isn’t just about Simone and Bryson; they’re not the only ones who’ve made transformations over the years (and I’m not just talking about their hair ‘dos). In his earlier life, Ari was less eccentric and more focused on making his family proud as a young black man in college who isn’t running on BPT for class. Ari was as straight as 180 when he’s first put into a situation where he’s forced to confront his sexual identity. As big and bad as he looked while working as a “rough & tough” bouncer at a nightclub, a flirtatious patron sees right through that persona.  After being charmed by the man who helps him realize self, the rainy night sets the tone for a steamy kiss between the two in the front seat of Ari’s car. The look on Ari’s face is a blend of fear, then relief, then ultimately bliss as he seemingly reminisces on his random but welcomed encounter. Although he enjoyed it, Ari didn’t seem to embrace his identity totally. That same year, we see a less hood-David changing more into the Christian we now know and Ari isn’t buying it. Something about this “we can do all things in Christ mentality” rubs him the wrong way. Facing one’s true self is tough.

Junior year, Bryson has a much better barber but things haven’t changed; he’s still checking for Simone. She and Prisoner are still dating if you want to call it that. Prisoner is the type of dude you’d expect to see Simone date in college. He’s flashy, has money, probably doesn’t even go to the school, and he’s rude AF. As Simone and Bryson reconnect for the two millionth time, Prisoner’s pimp tone telling Simone to hurry up is a strong indication he’s not here for their friendship. In analyzing the hair, it’s clear that Simone is not herself. Seriously, at this point, she’s rocking a glueless lace wig.

With her new hairstyle, she realizes that she made the mistake of loving a man more than herself. Prisoner is officially a dub. To celebrate her revelation, she finds herself drunkenly wining and grinding on her childhood bae, Bryson. Does this look familiar? Well, think back to last week when they were doing the same in the parking lot before 5-0 arrived. Because she couldn’t hold it, Simone ends up using Bryson’s bathroom which leads to a very sober thoughts-type of conversation in the bedroom. It is recognized that Bryson has always had a thing for the kid and Simone regrets that she never said anything about her feelings. His commandeering attitude (like the day she walked into his class freshman year) reminded her of the Different World “Strangers on a Plane” episode. It was an iconic one because it’s where Dwayne and Whitley’s love story began. That’s a telling comparison.

With that being said, Simone always felt Bryson was the Dwane to her Whitley. Unfortunately, the timing was always off and just when we think the two finally catch up to one another, cue: the vomit. Poor Bryson. Did someone do brujeria on this kid? He has the worst luck. But, like the gentleman he is, he takes care of his queen to make sure she’s all comfy in her drunken slumber. He whispers, “I love you Simone Graham,” but on the wake up it looks like sis suffers from sudden amnesia. She pulls the “best friend” card, making it clear that it’s friend zone from here on out. Prisoner’s trifling friend calls to offer to take Simone out to eat and in an act of “let me solidify that Bryson knows this is going nowhere,” Simone agrees to go out with her ex's friend. Once again, a blue-balled Bryson is left sorting out his feelings that Simone continues to perpetually confuse.

It’s important to note that the story of Brymone is not a new one. We’ve seen it in many action movies, comic book flicks, and on “Strangers on a Plane” where the geeky male character is overlooked by the badass female, only to win her affection in the end. Nice guys don’t always finish last, but in Bryson’s case, could it possibly be heading in that direction and is Simone even the heroine worth winning? In browsing through what is essentially the best years of any young adult’s life, Simone had many times to figure out if Bryson was the one for her and yet she chose to ignore her feelings. Unlike David, it’s not like she found Jesus; she hasn’t yet found herself.

One thing she does know is that she cannot lose Bryson because it’s possible she may love and need him more than she’d like to verbally admit. He’s no Prisoner or no flashy member of the entourage. He’s the “gentleman who wears tuxedos and makes sure his homegirl is safe” type of dude and unfortunately, that isn’t one Simone is interested in, for now.

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'Soul Train' Comes Home: Episode 7 Recap

The Soul Train Gang are at the tail end of a successful bus tour, with Brooks as a chaperone in Tessa’s absence. (Are Brooks and Tessa the only two people who work at Soul Train - well, now just Brooks? There’s not another black woman - black person - in the company?) Having Brooks with the kids in a random southern town is the one time we’ve felt he could be useful - but nope. He does nothing to even attempt diffusing the racial tension sparked by Fresh hitting on a young white woman (is he crazy?) and Kendall using the bathroom against the gas station owner’s warning (we already know Kendall has a habit of feeling himself at inopportune times). The bus pulls off as local men gather to have a little chat with Fresh, leaving the Clarke siblings to fend for themselves.

Simone and Kendall happen upon Nick, a peace and love-spreading musician, who not only offers them a ride as far as he’s going but suggests they pick up a gig so the two can earn bus fare to get to Chicago.

The unlikely music trio pop into a honky-tonk bar — complete with ten-gallon hats on the patrons, jump in with the house band — and win the crowd over with Motown and Donny Hathaway classics. Yay, racism is solved through good music! Post-gig, Nick leans in to tell Simone that she could be a star. Professor Haygood will probably get a call to set up a meeting with his producer-friend in the next episode.

Don heads to Chicago to spend the holidays with his family and meet the Soul Train Gang for the end-of-tour promo and taping. Don hasn’t seen his wife since the first episode of Soul Train, so the number one item on his agenda is giving Delores some much-needed lovin’. He also surprises her with the newest thing in communication technology: an answering machine. Now he can leave lovey-dovey messages when she’s not home. Next, he checks in with the owner of Soul Train’s local Chicago station, WGN. Soul Train continued as a local daily show in Chicago while the weekly version launched nationally from L.A. Now that the national show’s a hit, WGN threatens to sue Don for 25% of the profits, and he doesn’t know if he can fight them. Delores gives him a pep-talk (while doing a terrible job corn-rowing his hair), reminding him that he is Soul Train – the brand doesn’t exist without Don Cornelius. Now owning his leverage, Don spreads the word to advertisers that he’s going to walk away from the local Chicago Soul Train broadcast, prompting them, in turn, to pull their money. Check-mate, for now.

Dick Clark is still coming for Soul Train, so Don needs to hold on to that self-assurance and confidence - especially since Delores ain’t gonna be up to giving another pep-talk anytime soon. As Don is packing to head back to L.A., his wife confronts him with the latest issue of Right On! Magazine and a featurette about his relationship with Ilsa. In response, Don leaves, even as Delores warns him, “If you walk about that door you are choosing Soul Train over this family!”

Back in L.A., JT has an unexpected visit from detective Patrick Lorraine. JT thought the robbery was behind him, but his car places him at the crime scene. He ain’t no snitch, though! He’s willing to take a charge on the chin, which is stupid. Reggie’s displayed his lack of loyalty, and JT didn’t even get his rent money from the robbery! Patrick knows JT isn’t the person responsible and brings a surprise guest into the interrogation room – JT’s father (Sean Baker). After a scared-straight conversation, JT still isn’t willing to give Reggie up, but the police brass wants to let the whole thing go. It wouldn’t look good if the public learned an innocent man — the man Reggie set up to take the fall — died in police custody. They give Patrick a promotion and a pat on the head to play along, and Patrick lets JT go, but not before painting a bullseye on his back by thanking him in front of Reggie. Damn, Patrick. We thought you were down!

As the Soul Train Gang closes out the tour, Simone and Flo each have moments of self-awareness. Flo realizes individual people are more important than the exposure from the show, which has always been her focus. She unknowingly saves the day – and possibly a life – by showing some love and attention to a jilted fan just as he’s about to pull a gun on his ex. She then admits to Kendall that she likes him, which may lead to even more annoying antics from Kendall in the future, but for now, we’ll be happy for him; He needed a win. Simone embraces her star-power, basking in the adoration of her Chicago fans to the point where even Flo tells her to calm down. Kendall, meanwhile, warns his sister to stop lying about her gigs and her age, because “You don’t want to become that person.” Oh, that’s already in progress, Kendall.

What the episode got right: Racial tension in the immediate post-Jim Crow South. Also, the Reverend Al Green’s magnificent look in the old show clip Don and Phil were watching at WGN.

What we could have done without: Another awkward father/son moment between Don and Tony. We get it; Don was a largely absent and emotionally distant father. But sometimes it feels like Tony Cornelius – the executive producer of American Soul – is using the show to work out some issues with his dad, and we’re not sure what the takeaway from these moments is supposed to be.

What we don’t believe: The entire honky-tonk bar scene. Kendall and Simone just left a gas station where black people couldn’t use the bathroom, but two black kids could walk right in the front door of a country bar and hop on stage with the house band? And the house band knew “This Christmas”? Come on, now. The black staff jamming in the back of the house was on point, though. They were so happy to finally hear something they liked!

What we have questions about: The Soul Train tour’s routing. Nick has Nevada license plates and mentions getting robbed in Wichita, Kansas. It would make sense for the Soul Train Gang to be in the Midwest, having originally started in L.A. and heading to Chicago for the last stop. But Nick and the Clarkes play a gig in McClean, which is in Virginia. What kinda roundabout…?

We hope this quicker pace continues for the last few episodes of American Soul. There’s still a lot of ground to cover! We don’t know if any new celebrity guests are on the horizon, but Mama Clarke (Kelly Price) is getting her groove on next episode. We’ll be on time for that!

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