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2019 BET Awards: Nipsey Hussle Will Posthumously Receive Humanitarian Award

Nipsey Hussle's efforts for his community and the culture have been celebrated in the wake of his tragic death in late March. At the upcoming BET Awards, the Victory Lap rapper's legacy will be commemorated, as he will posthumously receive the show's Humanitarian Award.

"As a prolific artist and leader, Nipsey Hussle was zealous about driving change for the betterment of his community, empowering and employing those in need and being an influential and highly respected leader," said BET's Executive Vice-President, Head of Programming, Connie Orlando. "His passing was a tremendous loss to the entertainment industry and to the culture. We will continue to remember his advocacy and be inspired by the groundwork he set forth and his dire commitment to social change."

Hussle was committed to serving underserved and underrepresented communities, and he planned to invest in California's underserved areas before his death.

"We are forever grateful, humbled and honored to have experienced his presence and we are invested in doing our part to ensure that the marathon will indeed continue," she continues. "It is an immense honor for us to recognize him with this year’s Humanitarian Award."

The Marathon continues.

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Timbaland Opens Up About 130-Pound Weight Loss, Beating Addiction

After beating an addiction to painkillers and dropping 130 pounds, Timbaland has a new outlook on life. The super producer recently opened to Men’s Health magazine about kicking his pill habit and getting his mind, and body, in shape.

“I had a dream that death was near,” Timbaland admitted of his addiction to painkillers. “I saw myself with a white face.”

The addiction worsened in 2013, when the Grammy winner and his ex-wife began divorce proceedings. Making matters worse, he owed millions to the IRS.

Taking pills became an escape method for the 47-year-old father of three. “It put me in a great feeling of not caring, of just being free. I’m like traveling, doing shows, popping ‘em, having fun, just being ignorant.”

Although he can’t recall just how many pills he popped daily, Timbaland finally decided to kick the habit by slowly weening himself off of prescription drugs, and it  wasn't easy. He described going through withdrawals as “one of the toughest things” he’s ever experienced.

“This was the path chosen for me. God was rebuilding my character.”

 

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Gettin there gettin there !!!!( migos ) voice !

A post shared by Timbo the King (@timbaland) on Jan 1, 2020 at 11:18am PST

 

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There will just come a point where your goal will be greater than the moments as my trainer taught me. It’s now a lifestyle for me

A post shared by Timbo the King (@timbaland) on Jan 11, 2020 at 6:22pm PST

The Virginia native also credits his girlfriend with sticking by his side and finding a gym for him to begin his weight loss journey. He started working out Miami’s Punch Elite Fitness where he connected with a trainer who put him on a fitness regimen that includes boxing, and a strict diet of no processed food and lots of water.

When Timbo first walked in the gym he weighed 350 pounds. Today, he’s more than 100 pounds lighter, and still working on bettering himself.

“God has me under construction, which I’m still under. I don’t feel like I’m complete. I don’t want to ever feel like I’m complete, ‘cause my mind would probably go idle. God needed me to be clear so I could see what is needed, not what I want.”

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Nike Donates $5 Million To Obama Presidential Center For Athletic Facility

Former President Barack Obama teamed up with Nike to help build a brand new athletic facility at the Obama Presidential Center. The Nike-funded community center maintains the “open feel” of the presidential center, which is housed at Chicago’s Jackson Park, and includes a museum, library, and a forum for public meetings.

“The very presence of an athletic facility underlines how much the power of sport is woven into President and Mrs. Obama’s identities,” Nike’s Chief Social and Community Impact Officer Jorge Casimiro shared via Nike.com. “President Obama, after all, is famous for his NCAA brackets and his love of the White Sox, and the Obama family inspired kids everywhere to get moving.”

The Obama’s personally donated more than $1 million to the facility which has so far raised around $400 million in private donor donations since 2017.

“It’s all part of a new kind of presidential center: a place to inspire, a place to learn and a place to reflect, but also — as befitting a president who brought his love of hoops from the South Side of Chicago to the South Lawn of the White House — a place to grab some friends and get active,” added Casimiro. “As President Obama declared when he unveiled his plans for the center, “It wouldn’t be the Obama Presidential Center without a place to play some ball.”

The Obama Presidential Center is scheduled to open in 2021.

 

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Review: 'Bad Boys For Life' Proves To Be A Promising Crowd-Pleasing Throwback

“We ride together, we die together” never really made that much sense as a slogan, did it? Regardless, the line that epitomized the appeal of Bad Boys, the uber-violent action buddy cop franchise that turned Martin Lawrence and Will Smith into movie stars back in the mid-90s. Smith and Lawrence– now fiftysomethings– are back for a third go-round with surprising and enjoyable new tricks.

In 2003, the eight years between Bad Boys seemed like an eternity. But there’s been seventeen years between Bad Boys II and Bad Boys For Life—the former hit theaters before an iPhone ever existed, just as the so-called War On Terror was hitting full swing and a wide-eyed Beyonce embarked on a nascent solo career. If the buddy cop genre was on life support in the early 2000s, the formula is almost completely post-mortem in 2020; most buddy cop flicks in more recent times have been subversive spoofs (like 2010s The Other Guys) or unfunny one-offs (like the forgettable CHiPs).

This time around, Mike Lowry (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) face the realities of middle age. Burnett is happy to waltz into retirement and into “Papa” territory, exhausted from chasing kingpins. Lowry, on the other hand, is ever more of an adrenaline junkie than in the past; addicted to the thrill and holding on to a “bulletproof” playboy image that’s getting sadder and sadder—particularly when he’s forced to admit he wrecked a promising relationship with fellow officer Rita (Paola Nunez) and every time he peppers his bravado with Millennial-speak like “Turn up” and “One Hunnid.”

Lowry’s disappointment in Burnett’s desire to leave the force turns into something harsher after a shooting forces Mike to take stock and Marcus distances himself from his old partner. Of course, this is all just a set up for the duo to reconnect in the face of tragedy—along with a gaggle of new recruits led by Rita; including a computer geek who may or may not be a killing machine, a young tough guy who hates Lowry for apparently no reason, and Vanessa Hudgens.

Bad Boys For Life has more heart than the lunkheaded Bad Boys II, directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Ballah don’t forego the departed Michael Bay’s formula for punchlines and hyperkinetic violence; there’s an opening knife sequence that’s almost gratuitously graphic, and an action set-piece on a bridge that may be the most ambitious in the series. There’s only a passing mention of Burnett’s sister (played by Gabrielle Union in the previous film) and an obligatory callback to II’s funniest moment involving his daughter, but a lot of the movie’s emotional core sits with Smith’s Mike Lowry. Smith plays his first action star with an almost meta-level of intensity.

He’s the sum of all Will Smith’s Will Smithiness in one character and gets to play with the idea of Lowry’s machismo persona. Together with the recognition that Lawrence isn’t really an action star (the film smartly turns his affinity for sitting and watching as Smith jumps headfirst into heroics into a running gag), it’s a good turn for the characters and helps elevate the second half of the movie after a somewhat rote first half.

As the film’s “big bad,” Telenovela action star Kate del Castillo isn’t given a whole lot to do, nor is Jacob Scipio as Armas, as her son and steely hitman, who is on the hunt for Lowry. Reliably familiar support from Theresa Randle as Burnett’s long-suffering wife and Joe Pantoliano as the perpetually-flustered police captain Conrad Howard reminds everyone that this is a Bad Boys flick, and the actors clearly relish jumping back into their long-standing roles.

But these films always work best when Smith and Lawrence get to quip lines back-and-forth while dodging bullets, and the easy partnership between the two remains intact, even when the film lags under its own clichés or the sentiment borders on silly. There’s a twist that feels especially contrived and so many self-referential moments where Marcus and Mike seem to almost know that they’re in a movie about Marcus and Mike (who say “Bad boys for life” as a wedding toast, really?), but there’s a breeziness to the proceedings that feels more in line with the easy fun of the 1995 original—as opposed to the frenetically hyperactive feel of its sequel.

Anyone who is excited to see Bad Boys For Life wants to go into it for what these movies have always managed to give their fans; just enough comedy sprinkled with just enough to story to justify eye-popping action sequences and RoboCop-levels of bloodshed. The buddy cop genre was always predictable, but the best of it—classics like Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop and, yes, the first Bad Boys film—has always been a fun night at the movies.

In that regard, Bad Boys For Life doesn’t disappoint. It’s coasting on the easygoing partnership of Smith and Lawrence, as it always has. 25 years ago, they were two of the biggest stars on television, making a somewhat unlikely leap to action stardom in a movie initially written for then-Saturday Night Live comedians Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz that was being directed by a guy most people had never heard of. We may be a vastly different audience today than we were in the 1990s or 2000s, but there’s some fun in watching how different Mike and Marcus are too.

Franchises like Rush Hour and Lethal Weapon seem like big blockbuster brands of yesteryear, as a whole generation of moviegoers have grown up with vast comic book spectacles or rapid-chase car flicks overpopulated with musclebound tough guys. As such, Bad Boys For Life stands as a sort of throwback in popcorn entertainment; that reliable action-comedy that coasts on the chemistry and charisma of its leads—more so than otherworldly special effects or universe-building.

The constant mentions of “One last time” statements remind the audience that this could be the final go-round for Mike and Marcus. Big box office returns can reroute retirements, but if this is indeed the grand finale for Bad Boys, there are worse ways to go out. In a world where Lethal Weapon 4 and Rush Hour 3 exist (with talk of another in the Chris Tucker/Jackie Chan series coming down the pike), Bad Boys For Life should be praised for what it does manage to do so well. It’s fun, violent escapism that doesn’t ask too much of anyone. And sometimes that’s really all we need these movies to be.

Bad Boys For Life opens in theaters Friday, January 17.

Director(s): Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Vanessa Hudgens, Jacob Scipio, Alexander Ludwig, Kate del Castillo, Joe Pantoliano, Charles Melton, Paola Núñez, Nicky Jam, DJ Khaled.

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