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T.I. Signs On To Star And Co-Produce New Music Drama

The upcoming film centers on an all-female performance group from  LA who are competing to save their school's music program. 

In a few months, T.I will return to the big screen to reprise his role as Dave in the upcoming Marvel Studios film Ant-Man and the Wasp, and the rapper seemingly has no plans to slow down anytime soon. According to a new report from Deadline, T.I has already nabbed his next acting role: this time for the upcoming music drama Glow Up.

In addition to starring in the film, T.I will score and co-produce the drama alongside Robbie Brenner, PepsiCo's Creators League, Kevin McKeon and his manager Brian Sher. Chuck Hayward (writer behind Netflix's Dear White People and Step Sisters) penned the script; Justin Francis, known for producing music videos for the likes of Jidenna, Trey Songz, Demi Lovato and more, has signed on to direct the film.

T.I. attends the Roc Nation pre-Grammy brunch at One World Trade Center on Jan. 27, 2018 in New York City.

The film centers on an all-female performance group from a Los Angeles high school who enters a singing competition in an effort to use the cash prize to save their school's underfunded and almost-defunct music program. But the girls are faced with a major problem as their lead singer leaves and a new "charismatic, yet unconventional" lead singer steps up, forcing the group to band together for the sake of their music program.

A release date for the film has not been set yet; fans can catch T.I in Ant-Man and the Wasp in theaters this July.

 

This story was originally published on Billboard

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Netflix's 'The Black Godfather' Follows The Story Of Legend Clarence Avant

Netflix is gearing up to release a documentary that dives into the history of a music legend. The forthcoming film, entitled, The Black Godfather, will tackle the legendary career and legacy of music industry executive, Clarence Avant.

The trailer debuted on Thursday (May 23), featuring a handful of all-star cameos. Quincy Jones, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Barack Obama, Diddy, and more spoke about Avant's star power.

"There’s the power that needs the spotlight, but there’s also the power behind the scenes," Barack Obama says in the trailer.

Diddy also noted Avant's influence. "He became that mentor for us all, he became that godfather," he said.

Clarence Avant is a music executive, entrepreneur, and film producer. He is usually referred to as the "Godfather of Black Music" and was known to defy widespread racism in the 1960s and influence all aspects of the music industry.

The Black Godfather documentary will hit Netflix on June 7. Watch the trailer in the video above.

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Jussie Smollett's Criminal Case To Be Unsealed By Chicago Judge

When Jussie Smollett's criminal case – in which he was accused of staging his own attack in Chicago – was dropped, a judge agreed to seal all documents pertaining to the court proceeding. Now, Cook County  Judge Steven Watkins has decided that the public has a right to see the documents regarding Smollet’s case, and has ordered for it to be unsealed, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The records were sealed in order to protect Smollett's privacy after the prosecution agreed to drop the case against him in Mar. 2019. The decision was based on an Illinois law that allows a defendant’s court file to be sealed if charges against them were dropped or they were acquitted. The decision to unseal the case would allow the public to see why the prosecutor's office decided to drop the case.

In explaining his ruling, Judge Steven G. Watkins of the Circuit Court of Cook County wrote that Smollett’s request for privacy was not a good enough reason to keep the records sealed, considering that Mr. Smollett willingly spoke about the situation in detail on national television and in other venues.

Judge Watkins determined that Smollett chose to bring publicity to his own case and so should not be allowed the privacy of a sealed case file. "After the March 26 dismissal, he voluntarily stood in front of cameras from numerous news organizations in the courthouse lobby and spoke about the case," Judge Watkins wrote. "These are not the actions of a person seeking to maintain his privacy or simply be let alone."

As previously reported, Smollett was accused of staging a racist and homophobic assault against himself at the top of 2019. Brian Watson, a lawyer for Smollett, argued that the media had plenty of access to his client's case and that unsealing it would violate Mr. Smollett’s rights.

Cathy McNeil Stein, the lawyer representing the state, said outside the courtroom on Thursday (May 23) that the state’s attorney’s office planned to review its files and turn over documents that were previously sealed. It was unclear how quickly that would happen.

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T.I. Compares Nipsey Hussle's Death To The Avengers Losing Iron Man

People are still trying to make sense of Nipsey Hussle's untimely death. T.I. recently attempted to put his death into perspective by comparing Nip's death to a loss within pop culture.

According to T.I., losing Nipsey was like losing Iron Man in the latest Avengers movie. The rapper was on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on May 22, when he made the revelation.

“Everybody knows that Nipsey was pretty much the founder of the idea to bring everyone together who, you know, may individually be able to do great things and make a significant impact on their own in their communities,” he said. “But for us to come together, we can impact so, so many more communities and spread our efforts so much wider.”

T.I. was reportedly on the Hill alongside Charlamagne Tha God and legislators to discuss a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that provides incentives for new businesses in disadvantaged areas. He noted that Hussle was the one who told him about programs that "benefit and revitalize the underserved areas of society that we all come from."

"We’re like the ‘Avengers’ of investment," he added.

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