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BET Tales

Irv Gotti Targets Reverse Racism And Police Brutality In The First Episode Of BET's 'Tales'

Irv Gotti explores reverse racism, and aims to make a change with the issue of police bruality coupled with racism in America. 

In Irv “Gotti” Lorenzo’s new show on BET, Tales, he takes an array of different hip hop songs, and makes a movie out of them attempting to convey the record's message on screen. The process is a lot more rigorous than a music video, but still possess a creative story line inspired simply by the music.

At this year’s American Black Film Festival in Miami, a room full of journalists, filmmakers and fans got a chance to see a portion of its premiere episode, “F**k Tha Police,” inside South Beach’s Colony Theater. The rap mogul and founder of Murder I.N.C took N.W.A.’s iconic song, and morphed it into a battle of race relations and police brutality. Yet in doing so, Gotti makes an interesting twist. Instead of following the usual white cop kills a young African-American man narrative; the roles here are reversed.

Everything that was shown for the first 45 minutes of the scheduled two-hour premiere tonight (June 27) , is a contrived litmus test for TV ratings and a seemingly powerful depiction of the exact same thing black America has endured from white authorities for decades. There was Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Eric Gardner and many more—but in Irv’s story the victim is a young white man, whose murder by a black cop was witnessed by Brody Wilson (Matthew Noska).

There is a prejudice black TV host (Clifton Powell) who claims young white men bring their respective killings upon themselves; for reasons that aren’t justified, but seem to fit a certain stereotype, which then makes black cops trigger-happy. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  Amid the madness, a black prosecutor (played by Boris Kodjoe)  aims to sympathize with the marginalized white community, in hopes of trying to solve the case. All the white people in the film live in a housing project infested with poverty in an area called “The Jungle.” There are scenes of racial profiling by black cops, and white rage fueled by the injustices placed upon unarmed white men. Yet there is hope with an interracial relationship among Noska and actress Nafessa Williams, who plays a young trophy wife.

Seeing the roles in reverse on screen makes you wonder what would life and our justice system really be like if the oppressors become the oppressed? Would the flip spur some sort of change? Gotti aims to answer this. “With the race reversal theme I just wanted to put a mirror up to society, and let them see a glimpse of how we feel as black people,” he said to attendees at the screening. “And maybe if they see it as horrifying as it is in this fictitious tale, maybe they’ll change things when another black person gets killed senselessly.”

While Irv’s admission is simple and genuine, part of his final product is unfortunately troubling and complex. There’s Chet Hanks (Tom Hank’s son) who plays the cool street savvy brother. Yet there's something about him and his impoverished white friends that doesn’t fit. Aesthetically, their style and demeanor seems to mirror a heavy dose of cultural misappropriation, which mimics urban style. There’s dark lipstick, cornrows, bandanas and door-knocker earrings that adorn Eurocentric white Anglo Saxon faces. The image feels like scrolling through Instagram and seeing Kendall, Kylie, Kim and Khloe sporting bantu knots, cornrows and French braids—and then be credited as trendsetters by mainstream fashion magazines for wearing a hairstyle that black women have sported for decades.

Tales feels like it’s message would have resonated stronger if the characters were made with no trace of perpetuating a false stereotype, which is really the big cause of the problem in real life. But Gotti doesn’t plan on being so political in the episodes that follow. There will be other films based on songs like “Cold Hearted” by Meek Mill and the legendary “I Got a Story to Tell,” by Notorious B.I.G., which follow a more concrete hip hop story- telling narrative about life and beef in the rap game. There is also “Trap Queen” by FettyWap, which seems promising, “It’s really one of the best episodes,” Irv revealed. “It’s about a woman who has a man, and things happen with her boyfriend, and she takes control.”

The new hip-hop anthology will premiere tonight on BET at 8pm EST. Watch the trailer for its premiere episode, “F**ck Tha Police,” below.

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Black Eyed Peas And Nas Release Animated Music Video For "BACK 2 HIPHOP"

On Monday (Dec. 17), the Black Eyed Peas released their music video for the '90s- throwback- influenced record "BACK 2 HIPHOP" featuring Nas, off their latest album Masters of the Sun Vol. 1.

The cinematic-like, five-minute visual features each member of the 'Peas with their own scene, where  they spit bar after bar. The colorful video is part-animated and part live-action, and incorporates inspiration from of the golden age of hip-hop as Ancient Egypt meets the Sci-Fi genre.

All three members wear red and black through the first part of the video, while Nas appears as the Great Sphinx of Giza, reminiscent of the look fans may recall from the cover of his album I Am. A young woman lip-syncs the song's hook, which samples Soul II Soul's 1989 classic hit "Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)."

While Pasha Shapiro directed the video, will.i.am reportedly came up with the concept. The hip-hop group was ecstatic to be able to work with the legendary Queens rapper, revealing, "It was 'iLLMatic,' such an honor to rock with NAS. He is such a huge inspiration to our crew!"

 

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BACK 2 LIFE, BACK 2 HIPHOP, BACK 2 BEP... Hit the link in bio to check the @complex video premiere for BACK 2 HIPHOP feat. @nas 🙏#mastersofthesun

A post shared by The Black Eyed Peas (Official) (@bep) on Dec 17, 2018 at 7:16am PST

On Wednesday (Dec. 19), the group will be performing the song on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Their seventh album, Masters of the Sun Vol. 1, was released in October and saw the group going back to their old-school roots with political themes.

What are your thoughts on their new music video? Sound off in the comments.

READ MORE: Will.I.Am Is Wrong About The State Of Hip-Hop

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Viral Stars Daddy Long Neck And Wide Neck Release Single Accurately Titled "Neckst Up"

These days, it pays to have a viral moment. Charles Dion McDowell, known as wide neck after several of his mugshots (and neck jokes) went viral, has teamed up with another unique fellow to make some kind of music together.

On Sunday (Dec. 16), Wide Neck along with Daddy Long Neck, a social media personality with more 1.4 million followers on Instagram, released a music video for the comedy rap song "Neckst Up."

In a nervous soft relaxed tone, McDowell raps, "Shawty lick me up call me up neeeckst Shawty wanna f**k call me up neeeckst / Shawty suck me up call me up neeeckst / Shawty make it clap call me up neckst."

In the video, Long Neck and Wide Neck stroll through the mall wearing t-shirts that read "All Necks Matter," while taking pictures with fans and having an attractive lady entertain them while sitting down on the bench. The leading lady in the video even goes as far as licking the two internet stars with her long tongue.

Since the release of the video, "Neckst Up" has reached over a million views on YouTube. After McDowell went viral, he connected with Daddy Long Neck, whom he shares a similar abnormal body condition.

Check out the video above.

READ MORE: Let Jacquees Tell It, He’s The Jodeci Of This R&B Game

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Tiffany "New York" Pollard Hilariously Stars In Fenty Beauty's Gift Guide

We're deep into the holiday season, and it's clear that Rihanna's Fenty Beauty reign just won't let up. The 30-year-old Bajan star recently called upon the first lady of ratchet reality television, Tiffany Pollard – also known as "New York" from VH1's Flavor of Love and I Love New York –  to star in her latest video campaign vlog for the cosmetics line.

The 36-year-old reality show star looks fabulous in the nine-minute video uploaded on Sunday (Dec. 16), wearing brown lipstick with shoulder-length curly, black hair, acrylic nails, and gold jewelry on her neck and wrist.

Pollard gets straight to the point in the video starting, with the Pro’Filter Foundation saying "I feel younger and thinner, I didn’t know it could do all that, but it’s doing it!"

Other products from the Fenty Beauty collection includes the Killawatt Foil palette, the Frost Bunny-Frost Hunny-Frost Money eye, and lip sets and Gloss Bomb in Fu$$y. Pollard does what she does best while she speaks about on the various items, and she doesn't hold back on the profanity nor the R-rated commentary.

When the former I Love New York star posted a snippet of the vlog to her Instagram, she received a lot of love from her Hollywood peers under the post including Rachel True (The Craft), Dascha Polanco (OITNB), Melyssa Ford, Perez Hilton and her former castmate from Flavor of Love, Deelishis.

Despite her current absence on reality television on the moment, Pollard continues to stay relevant as memes and GIFs of her during her time on love show competitions lives on, as well pop-up exhibits of her in museums.Check out New York in Fenty Beauty's new gift guide video above.

 

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The @fentybeauty Christmas 🎄 gift 🎁 guide💄featuring yours truly is OUT NOW! Go check it out #fentybeauty @fentybeauty Thank you so much for letting me be a part of this‼️🎉 @badgalriri LOVE ❤️ YOU ALWAYS 💯💋🙌🏾

A post shared by Tiffany Pollard (@tiffany_hbic_pollard) on Dec 16, 2018 at 4:33pm PST

READ MORE: Tiffany Haddish Was Almost A Contestant On 'Flavor Of Love'

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