Lovebox Festival 2018 - Day 1
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Wu-Tang TV Show Coming To Hulu

Wu-Tang: An American Saga will hit Hulu soon. 

The Wu-Tang Clan is diving into the streaming business. One of hip-hop's most legendary groups is reportedly working on a TV series for Hulu, the streaming platform announced on Thursday (Oct. 11). The upcoming series, entitled Wu-Tang: An American Saga, will be a 10-episode season, created and written by RZA and Superfly's Alex Tse.

The straight-to-series will reportedly be set in New York City during the 1990s. It will follow Bob Digs, aka RZA, as he forms the hip-hop group. The show is based on the previously released books, The Wu-Tang Manual and Tao of Wu.

"I’m delighted to be partnering with Hulu and Imagine to explore the vast story of the Wuniverse. Wu-Tang through our music has always strove to inspire as we entertain," RZA said in the statement. "This opportunity to continue the Wu-Saga in a 10-episode series will exponentially increase our inspirational style of entertainment. In the immortal words of ODB “Wu-Tang is for the Children."

The news comes months after it was announced that Sony's Columbia Pictures  was developing a biopic on Wu-Tang's founding member, Ol' Dirty Bastard. RZA is also attached to the film's production.

Wu-Tang: An American Saga does not have a release date or cast listing at this time. Stay tuned for more details.

READ MORE: Wu-Tang Clan Will Be Featured On Logic's 'YSIV' Album

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Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, And More To Appear On LeBron James' 'The Shop'

HBO Sports' The Shop starring LeBron James and Maverick Carter is coming back this Mar. 2019. Season two of the series will feature appearances from Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, and more.

James will also be joined by Jamie Foxx, Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis and stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael.

Ahead of the air date, LeBron shared a clip of his chat with 2 Chainz on Instagram. "Can’t wait for y’all to hear the continues evolution of his profound skills from his mind to the booth to the records itself. Proud of you homie and the people will be as well when this hits," he wrote in the caption on Instagram.

The show initially premiered in Aug. 2018. It created quite the buzz on social media due to its unfiltered conversations surrounding race, politics and sports. The show's episode with Drake went viral after the OVO artist commented on his beef with Kanye West and Pusha-T.

The 2019 season premiere is filmed in Charlotte, NC, home of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend. The first episode of The Shop will air on HBO on Friday, Mar. 1, at 10:30pm ET.

 

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Had to pleasure of working on my first music project from start to finish with my guy @2chainz “Rap or Go To The League” coming to y’all 3/1. Can’t wait for y’all to hear the continues evolution of his profound skills from his mind to the booth to the records itself. Proud of you homie and the people will be as well when this hits! 🙏🏾✊🏾💪🏾 #ARBron #RaporGoToTheLeague🤷🏾‍♂️

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Feb 19, 2019 at 9:13am PST

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'American Soul' Episode 4 Recap: Don, You In Danger, Boo

We couldn’t help but focus on the men of American Soul during Episode 4.

The ladies are good, for the most part: Tessa found her footing, literally and figuratively, finally showing Flo and the Soul Train gang she ain’t nothin’ to play with on the dance floor, and checking Don for taking out his frustration on her with mixed messages and disrespect. Simone is still getting away with using a fake ID to chase her singing dreams in a jazz club and has emerged as a Soul Train fan favorite.

But the men are having a tough time.

JT avoided getting pinched for his role in the robbery and police shooting – but only because Chris (Trey Best) made sure the crime was pinned on someone else. Now we maybe understand why Benny (Kristopher Charles) was tearing up after giving info to the police last episode. He knew he was basically writing a death certificate. Chris has now told JT he won’t get any money from the heist, so all the stress and drama was for naught. Now his family’s finally being evicted. Just as it seems he can buy a little bit more time, Mr. Willard pushes JT past the breaking point with a comment about his mom’s “million-dollar mouth.” We knew this was coming; people been talking to JT crazy for 3 episodes now. JT knocks him out, and the family seeks shelter from Ma Mable (Elizabeth Omilami) in a storage room at the diner. JT wants to hide this from Simone and Kendall, even against Ma Mable’s grandmotherly advice, “Don’t lie to the people you love.”

Simone’s on a mission to save up enough money for Encore to cut a demo and gives JT the pooled cash to hold onto. She knows his mama’s a drug addict, why would she do that? We’ll bet $96 - the amount Simone passed to JT - that the money’s gone next episode. Also possibly gone next episode? JT’s mama. Soon he may have to cut her loose so he doesn’t drown along with her.

Kendall is still figuring out who he is in the absence of his father. Possibly still sorting his guilt for avoiding his father’s fate in the service, he’s trying patriotism on for size, hanging a gigantic American flag in his room. Simone reminds him their mom would not want it in the house, but he insists – to his sister’s amusement – that since he’s the “man of the house,” it’s his call. He’s also still juggling responsible fatherhood with chasing his dreams, bringing his son with him to an emergency show rehearsal. Our real worry, however, is that Flo now has Kendall in her sights. Kendall clearly isn’t a virgin, but Flo’s on another level. Pulling celebrities, locking people in rooms to get a look, on a make it by any means necessary level. Kendall’s not ready. Our hero (anti-hero?), Don, is going through it. He’s still not landing big enough acts for the show, and his primary sponsor is threatening to pull out. He’s taking it out on Tessa, the only other person working as hard on the show as he is, and she’s fed up. Motown, which moved to LA right before Soul Train, has shut him out because he was “difficult” with Gladys.

Don rolls through Club 100 Proof hoping he can again grab an act through Gerald, but Gerald makes it clear that the new BFF free trial period is over. “(The) first taste is hospitality, brotha,” he says. “Now you gotta pay to eat.” Eventually, the two businessmen come to a gentlemen’s agreement: Gerald will help Don land marquee acts for a 5% cut of the business. But what Don doesn’t know (that we do), is that Gerald is a for real gangster. Like killing people and then standing up to his gangster boss’ crew, gangster. Don, you in danger, boo.

Before settling on an arrangement with Gerald, Don tries one more time to land an act on his own. Following a tip that Ron Isley is performing at an NAACP fundraiser, Don crashes the event and runs into Motown’s Ilsa Dejarrnette (Shannon Kane). Isla and Don bond over a little coke (what’s a couple of lines between social acquaintances?) and Ilsa offers to help him navigate the black bourgeoisie and make an introduction to Diana Ross (Michelle Williams), who showed up in place of Isley.  Don, ever anxious and determined to do things his own way, charms Ross by knowing she sang Ray Charles’ “The Night Time is the Right Time” when she first auditioned for Berry Gordy. Diana, of course, is way too big of a star for a fledgling show, and she tells Don as much. Now, Don must get into Dejarnette’s good graces to get an in with Motown acts. Sounds like a scandalous tryst is on the horizon.

What this episode got right: Soul Train dancers indeed got paid in fried chicken. Members of the Soul Train Gang weren’t compensated, but there was free KFC on set every show taping for lunch.

What it could have done without: Johnnie Cochran showing up as the attorney for Dexter Brown might be a bit much. We appreciate incorporating black figures that we know and will recognize, and highlighting their backstory (Cochran made his name representing black victims in highly publicized police brutality cases), but the intersecting moments can feel forced.

What we absolutely don’t believe: That a record label’s legal representative is all up in lounges and parties, having final say on who performs where, and schmoozing with artists. Even at an everyone-wears-multiple-hats label like Motown. Ilsa is most likely based on long-time Motown senior executive Suzanne De Passe, but De Passe worked on all aspects of creative and artist development.

What we don’t understand: Why there wasn’t more of Janelle Monae’s Wondaland artist Roman GianArthur as Ernie Isley.

This wasn’t the strongest episode so far, but it was a necessary plot builder. Episode 5 looks lit, though. (Come through K. Michelle!)

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A Billie Holiday Documentary Is Currently In The Works

A documentary about beloved jazz great Billie Holiday--appropriately titled Billie--is in the works and will reportedly feature new interviews from the icon's contemporaries.

According to The Hollywood Reporter James Erskine will helm the film and has received support from the successor to Billie Holiday's estate, Concord. The film will follow Holiday's life through the eyes of 1970's journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl.

More than 200 hours of interviews with Charles Mingus, Sarah Vaughn, Tony Bennett, Count Basie will be featured, as well as some of Holiday's classmates, her step-parents, her cellmate, her drug dealer, her pimp and even the FBI agent who arrested her will be in the documentary.

Kuehl died in 1979 without completing her book about the "Strange Fruit" singer. Her interviews will be seen for the first time in the forthcoming documentary.

Holiday, real name, Eleanora Fagan, died in 1959. Her life was brought to the big screen in 1972 in the now beloved film Lady Sings the Blues, starring Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams.

"We are thrilled to be working with the creative team of James Erskine and New Black Films, who have taken great care to produce a documentary that honors the life and work of Billie Holiday in an exciting, genre-defying way," she said in a statement.

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