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Erykah Badu Denies Producers Contacted Her For 'Surviving R. Kelly'

"Produce this 'producer’s' request or... APOLOGIZE. It’s simple."

Erykah Badu is hitting back against dream hampton after she claimed that producers of Surviving R. Kelly contacted the singer to appear in the Lifetime docuseries. Badu claims that she was never contacted, and would like hampton to provide the receipts or apologize.

It all started when a fan pointed out that Badu and R. Kelly worked with one another years ago, which is why she allegedly chose not to be apart of the docuseries. Erykah rejected that comment, stating that she had never worked with him on music or declined to appear in the documentary.

Hampton stepped in by claiming that a producer attempted to contact Badu, but did not receive a response. "I asked Producer T. Farris to contact @fatbellybella to be in doc because I wanted clarity on two things: 1) a quote attributed to her, 'No one has done more for Black people than R. Kelly' & 2) what she was thinking when she called him her "brother" at Soul Train Awards," dream tweeted.

Badu quickly responded: No ma’am. I WAS NOT EVER contacted by anyone to be in [email protected] You know that’s not true. I wasn’t a necessary component. You had all the right people, the ones close to the situation...But for now, produce this “producer’s” request or... APOLOGIZE. It’s simple."

Badu and hampton's latest back and forth comes only days after the neo-soul artist was criticized for seemingly defending R. Kelly amid his sexual abuse allegations at a concert in Chicago. She later clarified her remarks about the disgraced singer, saying that she did not approve of his actions, but believed he was deserving of love and assistance.

Check out Badu and hampton's exchange below.

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Tyler Perry And Viacom Team Up For BET Plus Streaming Service

After his powerful speech at Sunday night's BET Awards show (June 23), Tyler Perry and Viacom's BET Networks have announced the launch of a new streaming service.

According to Variety, BET Plus will include original series, Perry's own personal projects, as well as the network and Viacom's content portfolio, from film to television. BET Plus is scheduled to arrive this coming fall, however, the monthly fee has yet to be disclosed. The new streaming platform is one of many VOD subscriptions dropping in the next year or so, and BET Plus is the first step in providing more platforms for communities of color.

BET's President Scott Mills echoed this same sentiment in a statement. "African Americans are the leading consumers of streaming services, with higher SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) adoption rates than other consumers, which is why we're so excited to launch a premium product for this underserved audience," Mills shared.

"BET Plus is a natural extension of BET's linear network, which has been the leading home of black culture for decades. Tyler Perry is perfect for BET Plus," he continued. "The combination of new, original shows and his giant library of popular movies, series, and stage plays that Tyler brings to our joint venture creates an amazing product his large and passionate fan base."

Perry sees the collaboration between the two not only as a way to cater to and uplift the black audience but also a means to further develop his capabilities as a filmmaker.

"In our industry, the way people consume content is constantly evolving," Perry started. "I’ve paid attention to my audience and what works for them and, for that reason, I’m very excited not only about the idea of partnering with BET to create new and exciting content, but also about the idea of giving people a personalized experience through the ability to curate the content they love to consume."

The Madea creator divulged even more in his statement. "On a personal level, this will also be the first time I’ll be working in areas like unscripted and variety television, which will afford me the opportunity to work in fresh, creative ways with new voices and to discover new talent.”

Perry was the subject of a standing ovation after his speech at the awards showcase. His acceptance speech for the Ultimate Icon Award spoke volumes about his character and his ambitious spirit as he shared how he created his own table, rather than fight for a seat at one in Hollywood.

"While everybody else is fighting for a seat at the table, talking about '#OscarsSoWhite, #OscarsSoWhite,' I said, 'Y'all go ahead and do that. While you're fighting for a seat at the table, I'll be down in Atlanta building my own.'"

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'The Lion King' Soundtrack Reveals Production From Pharrell, New Song From Elton John

The Lion King soundtrack is expected to drop Jul. 11 on digital platforms, and physically on Jul. 19. Much like the CGI-remake of the film itself, the soundtrack has no shortage of star power.

We already got a glimpse of Beyoncé and Donald Glover’s rendition of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” through a recent movie preview, and it looks like other classics from the original film will be reworked as well.

Selections from Hans Zimmer’s original score will remain in tact, while Pharrell is adding his je ne sais quoi to songs such as “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and “Hakuna Matata.” In addition to the original songs and score, Elton John and Tim Rice co-wrote a brand new track for the Jon Favreau film titled “Never Too Late.”

Check out the track list below, and keep an ear out for No. 14’s very mysterious song, which is “TBA” as of press time.

1. Lindiwe Mkhize / Lebo M: “Circle of Life / Nants’ Ingonyama” 2. Hans Zimmer: “Life’s Not Fair” 3. Hans Zimmer: “Rafiki’s Fireflies” 4. JD McCrary / Shahadi Wright Joseph / John Oliver: “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” 5. Hans Zimmer: “Elephant Graveyard” 6. Chiwetel Ejiofor: “Be Prepared (2019 Version)” 7. Hans Zimmer: “Stampede” 8. Hans Zimmer: “Scar Takes the Throne” 9. Billy Eichner / Seth Rogen / JD McCrary / Donald Glover: “Hakuna Matata” 10. Hans Zimmer: “Simba Is Alive!” 11. Billy Eichner / Seth Rogen: “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” 12. Beyoncé / Donald Glover / Billy Eichner / Seth Rogen: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” 13. Hans Zimmer: “Reflections of Mufasa” 14. TBA 15. Hans Zimmer: “Battle for Pride Rock” 16. Hans Zimmer: “Remember” 17. Elton John: “Never Too Late” 18. Lebo M: “He Lives in You” 19. Lebo M: “Mbube”

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'Black And Blue' Trailer Puts Body Cam Footage Front And Center

Filmmaker Deon Taylor is making his petition known with his latest full-length feature, Black and Blue. Set in present-day New Orleans, rookie cop Alicia West (played by Oscar-nominated actress Naomie Harris) returns to her Nola roots in hopes to serve and protect. It doesn't take long, however, for West to realize being from the neighborhood means nothing when she's wearing her uniform or badge.

The trailer for the forthcoming thriller premiered Sunday night (June 23) during the 2019 BET Awards. In the three-minute spot, viewers follow West as she exits a squad car and enters an abandoned warehouse. Seconds later, she witnesses a corrupt cop (played by Frank Grillo) kill a local drug dealer.

West now becomes a target after realizing the murder was recorded on her body cam. Her problems are only compounded when local drug dealer Darius (Mike Colter, Luke Cage) is working in concert with the police and puts a bounty on West's head. Now West has a decision to make: either ignore the truth or expose it.

Dialing in from Los Angeles, Taylor spoke to VIBE about the premise of the Peter A Dowling script, the timeliness of the film and did he, in fact, give it all away in the trailer?

Why the name change from Exposure to Black and Blue? Deon Taylor: In the film, Alicia West (Naomie Harris) kept being asked 'What side of the line are you on? Are you black or are you blue?' and what I thought was incredible throughout the movie was she's saying there is no side, we're here to serve the people. We wanted to lean into that. I thought it would be a great conversation piece and it's also about blending the worlds and creating a better place for people to live. So that's why we made the change.

Is the film as much entertainment as it is a political statement? Yes. I'm going to answer yes to that. Right now, we're in a world where we don't want to feed people medicine. We want to put the medicine inside the candy. That's what I feel like this film is about.

Our first goal is to make sure you have a blast in the theater. You're getting all those elements you would get from Training Day. But, as a filmmaker, I'm also trying to drop some messages and some Easter eggs in the film. What I'm hoping is this film shows us what we need to do to be better as a people as we're fighting against what we're seeing in the news every day. What's so current is here's Alicia West, Naomie Harris playing this character saying 'Nah, we not doing that. Y'all are corrupt and I'm about to expose it. I don't care what side of the line I'm on.'

Why did you choose to film in New Orleans? We filmed in New Orleans for New Orleans. New Orleans is interesting because as we began to put the movie together, I just loved being in the South where people are really homegrown. New Orleans was one of the places that had high corruption after [Hurricane] Katrina, and we just felt like New Orleans was raw and unfiltered. I love that Naomie Harris' character had those southern morals.  The backdrop of New Orleans is also beautiful. The music, the people, the culture itself. We featured a lot of B. Mike's artwork and the murals he's done as well. Mike Colter went from being everyone's favorite black superhero in Luke Cage to this scary, menacing drug dealer. Why did you choose to reimagine Mike Colter this way? What I love about being a director is I love playing people against type. In The Intruder it was Dennis Quad and the new thriller I did it's Hilary Swank. This movie is no different. For Mike Colter, when I thought about what character he's playing without giving it away, it would be easy to cast someone to be tough and beat people up and have that energy, but Colter's character in the movie, Darius, he's more complex. He's someone who's a product of the environment but also a cerebral thinker.

So for that, I needed to find an actor that was intimidating, but when he opens up his mouth and he talks, I needed someone who had the correct tone to be a more complicated villain. What I tried to do with the Darius character was build someone I know. Colter was able to reimagine the character that way in which you can see the tough exterior, but at the same time, he's calculated in how he thinks and how he moves.

My last question is in a lot of films, they give the best stuff away in the trailer. Have you done that?  Nope! [Laughs]

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