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Russell Simmons Readies Film On Eric B. & Rakim's Historic Reunion Concert

If you weren't able to catch the "Juice (Know The Ledge)" artists in the flesh, Russell Simmons has you covered.

The everlasting Apollo Theater added to its lineage of historic moments when hip-hop influencers Eric B. & Rakim reunited for the 30th anniversary of their best-selling album, Paid in Full (July 7). The concert garnered a packed crowd that also got to experience the sounds of Slick Rick, EPMD, Al B. Sure!, Roxanne Shante and more.

If you weren't able to catch the "Juice (Know The Ledge)" artists in the flesh, Russell Simmons has you covered. According to Billboard, the famed record executive plans to turn the concert into a film/documentary under his All Def Digital banner and video streaming service, Sessions X.

"I'm thrilled that the world, and a new generation, will have the opportunity to witness the creative spark that Eric B. and Rakim lit in hip hop," Simmons said. "The duo moved the culture forward, and DJs and MCs to this day stand on their shoulders. I'm honored to work again with these great artists."

Released in 1987, Paid in Full supported the marriage between hip-hop and the use of classic soul/funk samples from artists like James Brown. Singles that found homes on various Billboard charts included "Eric B. Is President," "I Ain't No Joke," "I Know You Got Soul," and the album's title track.

In a previous interview with HOT97, Rakim shared his surprise behind the album's enduring influence. "As cocky as the rhymes sounded I never thought they would have an impact like this," he said. "It's a blessing to not only be a part of the game and this legendary status, but to be here 30 years later and have a show and everyone come down and enjoy themselves."

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Oprah Winfrey Explains Why She Pulled Out Of Russell Simmons Documentary

Oprah Winfrey severed ties with an upcoming documentary on Russell Simmons’ accusers, but the former talk show queen says that her decision isn't a “victory” for the Def Jam Records founder.

“This is not a victory for Russell,”  Winfrey told CBS This Morning on Tuesday (Jan. 21) while promoting her new health and wellness tour. “I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell. This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by a Russell Simmons after all I've been through.”

Simmons has denied all allegations of sexual assault.

Though Winfrey  believes that the accuser's deserve to be heard, she made the “hard decision” to resign as executive producer of the film after new “information” emerged. Winfrey approached the filmmakers about her concerns and suggested that the film be pulled from the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

“I had said to them, 'Houston, I think we have a problem here' because new information had come forward.” Because the filmmakers opted not to pull the film, which is slated to premiere at the festival this weekend, Winfrey removed herself from the production team.

“You have the right to change your mind and make changes,” she added. “What this has taught me is, don't put your name on anything that you do not have creative control over.”

Watch the full interview below.

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Missy Elliott, H.E.R. Team Up For Pepsi Super Bowl Commercial

Missy Elliott and H.E.R. are teaming up to star in a Super Bowl commercial for Pepsi.  The 30-second commercial will plug Pepsi Zero Sugar’s new matte black can, Ad Age reports.

“We are about to drop some [fire],” Elliott captioned a photo from the commercial on social media on Tuesday (Jan. 21), to which the “Hard Place” singer who replied, “You’re legendary!!! Can’t wait!”

You’re legendary!!!! Can’t wait! 🔥 https://t.co/d3z6fsR2u8

— H.E.R. (@HERMusicx) January 21, 2020

Elliott previously appeared in a Super Bowl commercial for the PepsiCo brand, Mountain Dew, in 2018. Three years earlier, the Grammy winner performed during the Super Bowl halftime show as a surprise guest of Katy Perry. This year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will take over the stage for half-time show sponsored by PepsiCo.

The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. The big game kicks off on Feb. 2, 2020.

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Pays Tribute To His Late Father Rocky “Soulman” Johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson's father was his hero.

The Jumanji star paid emotional tribute to his late father, WWE hall of famer, Rocky “Soulman” Johnson, in wake of the 75-year-old former wrestler's sudden death last week.

“I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way through this world,” Dwayne wrote last Friday (Jan. 17). “I was the boy sitting in the seat, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar.

“Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. I’m in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally,I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease.”

“I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son,” he wrote in closing.

In an additional post thanking fans for their support, Dwayne revealed that his father died from a “massive heart attack,” brought on by a blood clot.

Rocky was born in Canada on Aug. 24, 1944. He began wrestling at 16 years old, and launched his professional wrestling career a few years later. Following his pro debut, the then budding wrestler legally changed his name from Wayde Douglas Bowles to his wrestling moniker, “Rocky Johnson.”

Over his career Rocky earned numerous championships, including the National Wrestling Alliance Georgia Champion, and a NWA Southern Heavyweight Memphis Champions.

He joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1969 and formed “The Soul Patrol” with wrestling partner, Tony Atlas. The duo made history as the WWF’s first ever black World Tag Team champions.

Following his retirement in the ‘80s, Rocky began training his son, Dwayne, who went on to joint the WWF as “The Rock,” a nod to his father’s name. Besides Dwayne, the wrestling legend also had two older children, a daughter, Wanda, and son, Curtis.

Read Dwayne's full post below.

 

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I love you. You broke color barriers, became a ring legend and trail blazed your way thru this world. I was the boy sitting in the seats, watching and adoring you, my hero from afar. The boy you raised to always be proud of our cultures and proud of who and what I am. The boy you raised with the toughest of love. The intense work. The hard hand. The adoring boy who wanted to know only your best qualities. Who then grew to become a man realizing you had other deeply complicated sides that needed to be held and understood. Son to father. Man to man. That’s when my adoration turned to respect. And my empathy turned to gratitude. Grateful that you gave me life. Grateful you gave me life’s invaluable lessons. Dad, I wish I had one more shot to tell you, I love you, before you crossed over to the other side. But you were ripped away from me so fast without warning. Gone in an instant and no coming back. Im in pain. But we both know it’s just pain and it’ll pass. Now I’ll carry your mana and work ethic with me, as it’s time to move on because I have my family to feed and work to accomplish. Finally, I want you to rest your trailblazing soul, Soulman. Pain free, regret free, satisfied and at ease. You lived a very full, very hard, barrier breaking life and left it all in the ring. I love you dad and I’ll always be your proud and grateful son. Go rest high. #ripsoulman #rockyjohnson 🐐

A post shared by therock (@therock) on Jan 17, 2020 at 8:01am PST

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