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- Late Rapper Tupac Shakur Finally Honored By Hollywood With His Star On Walk of Fame
It’s been a long time coming for Tupac Shakur. The West Coast and international hip-hop icon will finally get his flowers by way of a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame. More than 27 years since the artist’s life was tragically cut short in Las Vegas following a Mike Tyson fight, the Dear Mama rapper's artistry will be celebrated by fans and his peers. Last week, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced the rapper’s honor in a press release, and today he got his star, more than a week shy of what would have been his 52nd birthday. Born in New York before moving to California as a youngster, eventually influencing the West Coast scene with his classic songs, Tupac received the Walk of Fame’s 2,758th star. Fittingly, LA radio legend Big Boy emceed the rapper's ceremony, while director Allen Hughes and writer Jamal Joseph were guest speakers. Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur, the icon's sister, accepted the honor on his behalf. Shakur first came on to the scene with Digital Underground before debuting his very first album, 2Pacalyspe Now. He was known for such songs as Brenda’s Got a Baby, Keep Ya Head Up, Only God Can Judge Me, Smile, Dear Mama, and Changes among many other classics. He also ventured into the movie scene playing in classics such as Juice, Poetic Justice, and Above the Rim. Along the way of navigating between movies and rap, he was shot five times while in a New York-based recording studio building in November of 1994. He survived that shooting. But in February of 1995 -- a month before Shakur dropped his third studio album, Me Against the World -- he was sent to prison for reportedly sexually abusing a fan, though in interviews he vehemently denied the accusations. Still, Shakur was a man on a mission in his short time of life, not only recording music and shooting movies but also wanting to unite the West Coast and East Coast music scene, though the mainstream media sensationalized the entire West Coast and East Coast “beef.” Tragically, Shakur, according to several outlets, was killed in a drive-by shooting following the Mike Tyson fight, which reportedly was retaliation from a fight Tupac was involved in hours earlier in Las Vegas. Shakur was initially set to receive the Hollywood honor in 2014, but a ceremony date was never set in stone, Walk of Fame producer Ana Martinez told the LA Times last week. “This iconic artist has continued to be part of the zeitgeist for decades after his passing and will continue to be an important cultural figure for many years to come,” Martinez said in the release.” Surely, as one of LA’s own, Tupac’s star will be added to the list of most visited stars.” The hip-hop icon is the latest rapper to receive a star on the Walk of Fame, as the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored late rapper Nipsey Hussle with his star on what would have been his 37th birthday. Additionally, Hulu released a five-part documentary series, Dear Mama, which is a docuseries examining the life and legacy of 2Pac and his mother, Afeni Shakur, who was an activist for the Black Panther Party. The Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony will be live-streamed on the Walk of Fame YouTube page.
- Can Single People Be Friends With Married Couples? Yes, According To ‘Platonic’ Star Tre Hale
Does a single man have anything in common with his female best friend who is married with kids? Apple TV's new show Platonic, which premiered in May and just released its fifth episode today, takes a hilarious look at the age-old question if men and women can truly have a "platonic" relationship. Starring Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, Platonic follows the friendship between Sylvia (Byrne), a married mother of three, and Will (Rogen), a bar co-owner who is going through a divorce, as they try to rekindle their friendship after being estranged for a few years. From reliving their past to a night out partying, which involved drugs, the show's answer to the age-old question is, "Yes, men and women can be friends." The series also stars All American's Tre Hale who plays Andy, Will's business partner and co-owner of the bar, which is the backdrop of the show. During our recent interview, Hale talks about what he likes about his character, if single people can truly be friends with married couples with kids and his thoughts on splitting the bills in relationships. [Transcription Edited For Article] What was it about the role that made you interested in being a part of the series? The obvious answer is like getting an opportunity to work with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne. It's like, forget about it, please sign me up. But the more I got to dive into it and reading up, I was just really interested in playing the normal guy man. In the short career I've had this far, I always kind of get these, big tough guy roles or tattoo artists roles and stuff like that, which is always cool. It's always fun. But yeah, reading this like, I'm just a bar owner. I'm trying to make it alive and trying to get married, just a normal dude. What was it like on set? Man, we had so much fun. It was truly like an experience that's hard to explain and there's a part of me as an actor that feels spoiled and I'm kind of scared for the next project because of how lit this set was. Just having a good time and the creative freedom we were given to just kind of collaborate and throw paint at the walls. For up and comer like myself, you step on a set with some titans, like the people involved in this project, a lot of times you assume a lot of egos will get involved and it's almost like you're afraid to kind of spread your wings and pitch jokes or a- lib a little bit. But man they were all so cool from the producers to our creators to Seth to Rose, just no egos. Can single people really be friends with married couples with have kids? Yeah, it's funny, because that is a real question and something to think about. I think yes, they 100 percent can. I think obviously, as we kind of get older in life and relationships start becoming a thing and significant other start playing a factor, sure it gets a little harder. And I think communication becomes more important. So to really kind of make sure that everybody knows, everything's cool. And those natural kind of subconscious things that you think about when you see a man and a woman hanging out, kind of go out of the way. But yeah, it's 100% possible. Everything's possible with communication and honesty and all that jazz. What's your thought process on splitting bills with your significant other or with somebody who makes more money than you? I don't know. I this could be a hot take. I don't know I like to pay for when I go on dates. Anytime I take my lady somewhere, I always pay. It's just like a natural thing that I do for my lady. It is what it is. Yeah, so I don't really think there's any answer. I think everybody leaves it up to your relationship and what y'all got going. But I know for me, I like to treat. If I take someone on a date... if I take my lady on a date or whatever, I like to treat them to date. That's what I do. I pay for it. But it's like my lady has also paid for dinner a couple of times too and I be like, "Hey, that was nice." Check out the full interview below.
- Steven Caple Jr. Reflects On Directing 'Transformers: Rise of the Beasts,' Most Challenging Moment
The latest iteration in the Transformers universe hits theaters this Friday. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts continues the story of how the Autobots, with the help of a few humans, save the earth from the evil that looks to destroy the planet. But something about this story is different. The latest Transformers film takes place in Brooklyn NY, in the 90s, and includes a new type of ally, the Maximals, which are robot animal transformers. Directed by Steven Caple Jr., the sequel to Bumblebee (2018) stars Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, Tobe Nwigwe, and a slew of transformers voiced by Hollywood's favorites Colman Domingo, Michelle Yeoh, and Pete Davidson. Caple Jr. was already in the big leagues when he directed Creed II, but Transformers: Rise of the Beasts' 200 million dollar budget was the biggest he has ever had to work with. During a recent interview with The Quintessential Gentleman's Editor-in-Chief Eric K. Thomas, the Cleveland, Ohio, native said he was elated to direct the movie. “I’m feeling good right now. Being here in Atlanta right now and actually showing the film to audiences feels amazing,” Caple Jr. said to The Quintessential Gentleman. “I mean, we’ve been with the project for a very long time. For me, like two and half years, so for me to finally get it out there, it was good.” Caple Jr. grew up in the 90s and watched the animated series so he was very well-versed in Transformers. But the accomplishment of directing one of his favorite childhood cartoons hasn't hit him yet. “I did a franchise before this. … It didn’t kick in until like maybe like a year later, you know, when I just finally got a chance to step back and go, ‘Wait a minute, I was directing Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, and Tessa Thompson. So, for me, now with Transformers, it might take a minute because I’m so close to it, you know, and this was again, like a three-year process,” Caple Jr. said. “Being in the trenches for that long and making sure that we deliver versus taking a step back and taking it all in, I had one moment where it was magical.” The specific moment that Caple Jr. was referring to was when they were filming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts in Peru on top of one of the wonders of the world, mount Machu Picchu. He said it was that exact moment when he reflected on where he came from and where he is today when it comes to his success story. Caple Jr. said the most challenging part of the movie was filming on Machu Picchu. For one, it was one of the first times a movie was shot on this mountain, and it was already hard enough to bring equipment to the mountain, but to shoot 20 to 30-foot robots that high up in the mountain was arduous. Caple Jr. said he actually needed to be on an IV because it was challenging just breathing. Some of the actors experienced some sickness with how high the altitude is. And it would rain sparingly. “It was wild. It was uncontrollable,” Caple Jr. said. “And that was for everything in a jungle, and we shot everything in Peru.” It was easy for Caple Jr. to participate in such chaos because he was passionate about the franchise, while also having that workmanlike approach. He grew up watching it, so as he navigated his way through his directing career and the opportunity to choose this movie was there, it wasn’t an option to not choose the Transformers franchise, especially if he can leave his mark on the movie. “I was like, ‘Okay, I can be a part of a legacy but it’s not a legacy I don’t care about, you know?’ It’s something that if I can accomplish this and get the right tone, and develop a new style thing, then yeah, we can succeed," Caple Jr. said. "But it was that motivation throughout knowing that there’s a fan base waiting for a movie. Hopefully, this is the one they want in terms of tone and characters we’re playing with. I just want to make sure we deliver on that. It was a big motivation.” Still, the prolific director said it is harder to direct a franchise as opposed to directing an original movie because he is trying to appease all the different levels of fanbases. These levels add on more pressure, theoretically, but Caple Jr. said he changes the word pressure to responsibility and remembers that he needs to add his own tone to the movie in an effort to deliver on all levels. Even with the movie having already been delivered, Caple Jr. said he suffers from a form of PTSD. “You get a little bit of PTSD. You know, in terms of waking up in the middle of the morning [saying],’ Did I get that shot? Again, did I do good enough?” Caple Jr. asked. “You're trying to strive for something that’s great.” Caple Jr. has been striving from day one. Born in Cleveland, he went on to strive for greatness at Baldwin Wallace University in Barea, Ohio before going to USC to study film. He caught his big break when his student film, A Different Tree, came up victorious in HBO’s Short Film Competition in 2013. His feature film debut was none other than The Land, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it was acquired by IFC Films Caple Jr. went on to write HBO’s high-profile Emmett Till Project, which was produced by Will Smith, Casey Affleck and Jay-Z. Next up was the 2018 boxing action-drama film, Creed II with Jordan and Stallone. Now, Caple Jr. has another major project under his belt. Make sure to check out Transformers: Rise of the Beasts this Friday only in theaters. Check out the full interview below.
- Want To Up Your Style Game Chaps? Popular Styles of Shoe
When the majority of people think of the fashion of shoes, their minds automatically jump to women's shoes; everything from flats to high heels to kitten heels come forward, but what about shoes for the stylish and hip gentleman? When it comes to choosing the ideal pair of shoes, men have many options to consider. From athletic sneakers to stylish dress shoes, there's a type of shoe for every occasion, and, provided you match them well, they can really add to any outfit. If you require a bit of a crash course in shoes, here are 5 of the most popular types, so read on to learn more. Derby Shoe A derby shoe is a dress shoe characterized by an open lacing system, with the eyelets sewn on top of the vamp. This allows for a more flexible fit and makes it easier to adjust the shoe to the wearer's foot. Derby shoes are often made with leather and have their own hybrid designs, including brogue detailing or plain toe. Many brands of shoes, like Alden mens shoes, are able to offer their own version of the classic shape, as the Derby shoe is a versatile and classic option for men's formal wear, suitable for both business and social occasions. Brogues Who doesn't love brogues? Brogue shoes are an extremely popular type of dress shoe that features decorative perforations, or "broguing," along the edges and toe cap. They were originally designed as outdoor shoes for Scottish and Irish farmers but have since become popular for men's formal wear. Brogues come in various styles, from classic wingtip brogues to more modern styles with minimal broguing. In 2023, the most popular brogue types for any gentleman's wardrobe go far beyond simple black and brown and have now expanded into other more eye-catching colors, such as grey and blue. Of course, if those are a bit flashy for your tastes, then simple black and brown will do for most occasions. Loafers Loafers are comfortable and stylish shoes that can be worn in various settings. Loafers are ideal for casual and dressy occasions and can be paired with every outfit, from jeans to dress pants, and, usually, their finish is leather or delicate suede. Some popular loafer styles include penny loafers, tassel loafers, and boat shoes. Winkle Picker Shoes Men's winkle picker shoes are a type of dress shoe with a pointed toe resembling the shape of a needle or "picker." They were popularized in the 1950s and 1960s during the rock and roll era, particularly by musicians such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles. Winkle picker shoes are often made with leather and are styles with either decorative buckling or laces. They are a bold and stylish choice for men's formal wear, adding a unique touch to any outfit. Oxford Shoe An Oxford shoe is a dress shoe with a closed lacing system, with the eyelets sewn underneath the vamp. This creates a sleek and formal appearance, making it a popular choice for business attire. Oxford shoes are typically made of leather and come in various colors and styles. Photo Credit: DepositPhotos.com
- Three Ways to Earn Passive Income
If you’ve been dreaming about leaving your 9-to-5, you’re not alone. More than half of the working population have considered calling it quits. Why? Because the pandemic changed the way society thinks about their jobs. People are now more aware of the need to build passive income streams, so they can work less, save money, and spend their time doing things they enjoy. That said, creating passive income streams isn’t always as easy as the online gurus make it seem. While some people do go viral and make tons of cash quickly, most others need to find the right income source and then learn how to build passive income that eventually replaces their full-time job. Check out some of the most popular passive income streams and how to get started in each one. Real Estate Investing Investing in real estate, if you have the money, is by far one of the easiest, not to mention, most lucrative ways to make money. Aside from finding a property in an area that is worth buying, you need to know how to determine if that property is going to be profitable. Learning the capitalization formula can help you weed out properties that aren’t going to be profitable. Using the cap rate formula, you can determine whether a property will yield the results you’re hoping for. If you’re not sure how to go about it, you can always review a guide that outlines the process, including what to look for, how to calculate it, and when you should use it. Sell Your Knowledge Whether you’re a whiz at Excel or have always been good at photography, you can sell what you know. There are plenty of online platforms where you can create a course and then sell it for profit. You can also make money from YouTube, or build a social media following, and push traffic to a Shopify or Stan store where you can sell your digital courses as well. Where you sell is completely up to you; however, it’s always a good idea to sell on more than one platform. Over time, you can also add additional courses or bonuses for subscribers. The goal is to get people to buy your courses without having to recreate them continually. Become a UGC Creator Marketing and advertising look nothing like it did before. These days, brands want to create ads that aren’t staged and look fake. UGC, user-generated content, is now what people want to engage with online. To get started, think about your favorite brands. What type of content could you create that would make them take notice? Say you love a certain brand of sparkling water and use it in mocktails. You could create a series of Reels or videos of yourself creating drinks and then pitch to the company. If you decide to try UGC, make sure you have several examples of the different types of content you can create. You can use Canva to create an online portfolio, which you can submit with your pitch.
- Supreme Court Looks To Halt Affirmative Action In College, Student Loan Forgiveness
Later this year, the Supreme Court is expected to overturn affirmative action in college admission after the arguments from Harvard University and the University of North Carolina on whether race-conscious admission programs are lawful. This comes on the heels of the decision to overturn Roe. V. Wade, according to epi.org. Additionally, the Supreme Court in February heard arguments over President Biden’s student loan debt relief plan, which would have forgiven at least $10,000, and up to $20,000, for tens of millions of federal student loan borrowers. The plan was voted upon but in a surprise bipartisan move, the Senate voted to overturn the President’s signature student loan forgiveness program, set to cost $400 billion, according to The Hill. Both affirmative action and student loan debt forgiveness are essential measures for college access and completion for students of color. But these statutes, along with others, have been targeted and threatened within the courts over the years, leaving students of color to take on the barriers of higher education as well as more disparate socioeconomic outcomes. Over the last half-century, the United States has been removed from the critical Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing segregation. But that didn’t stop the most important topic of dispute: the legality of universities using affirmative action as a tool for broader integration and diversity in school, according to epi.org. In 1978, the Supreme Court upheld the use of race as a reason for choosing qualified applicants for admission in the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke ruling. In the following decades, public and private universities used race and ethnicity as a determining factor in admissions processes, although there were efforts to roll back race-conscious admissions programs on the state level. Back in 1996, California was the first state to ax affirmative action in public universities for college admissions. Now, seven more states -- Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington -- banned public universities from considering race in admissions. And research has proven that college enrollment for racial and ethnic groups has decreased at selective universities and graduate programs after these bans. One study estimated that students of color experience a 23% decline in the chances of admission to highly selective public universities after an affirmative action ban. There are many positives in considering race in college admissions. For one, American society continues to suffer from racial inequality. Having affirmative action allows more equitable opportunities for top-notch college education, according to The Washington Post. Affirmative action benefits all students by exposing these students to diverse perspectives on campus and it can lead to more diverse leadership. Student loan forgiveness is also necessary as 48% of Black students owe an average of 12.5% more than they borrowed, while 83% of white students owe 12% less than they borrowed. Black women hold nearly two-thirds of the 7% trillion in student debt, according to epi.org. Photo Credit: DepositPhotos.com
- Movies And Shows To Watch This June
We all know that some of the best movies come out during the summer months and now with the introduction of streaming services, we get new series premiering as well. Films such as The Blackening and The Perfect Find are set to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival, while there are other films and series on streaming networks like HBO’s The Idol and Peacock’s Shooting Stars, which have already premiered. Check out these films and shows that will and have premiered in June. Shooting Stars Shooting Stars is a film adaptation of LeBron James’ memoir which details his high school basketball career. The film stars Caleb McLaughlin and Algee Smith and was released on Peacock on June 2nd. Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse Shameik Moore returns as the voice of Miles Morales/Spiderman in Spiderman Across the Spiderverse. The film is a sequel to 2018’s Spiderman Into the Spiderverse. Daniel Kaluuya also voices a version of Spiderman in the film and Jharrel Jerome and Mahershala Ali provide voices in the movie as well. It was released in movie theaters on June 2nd. Medellin While Mike Tyson is a boxing legend, his film work is sometimes overlooked. Mike is returning to acting this summer in the Amazon Prime action comedy film Medellin. The film was released on June 2nd. The Idol HBO’s The Idol features Abel Tesfaye known in the music industry as The Weeknd, making his acting debut. Tesfaye plays Tedro the leading man in the series, a character who is a club promoter with a mysterious and seemingly dark persona. It was released on HBO on June 4th. Transformers: Rise of the Beast Steven Caple Jr. has taken over as director for the seventh film in the Transformers film series, the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beast. Caple Jr. is known for his directorial work on Creed II. After premiering last month in Singapore, it will hit theaters in the US on June 9th. Cinnamon Damon Wayans is returning for his first film role in over a decade in the Tubi movie Cinnamon. Wayans plays Wally in the film which will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 14th. The Blackening The Blackening a horror comedy spoof starring Sinqua Walls, Melvin Greggs, and Dewayne Perkins will be released in movie theaters on June 16th. Secret Invasion Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe will kick off Phase Five with the release of the Samuel L. Jackson series Secret Invasion. Jackson will reprise his role as Nick Fury in the series with Don Cheadle also starring. Secret Invasion will be available to stream on Disney + on June 21st. Asteroid City Jeffrey Wright will star alongside Tom Hanks in Asteroid City, a sci-fi romantic comedy-drama. The film will hit theaters on June 23rd.
- Stephen Curry Enters The Whiskey Industry With Gentlemen's Cut Bourbon
One of the greatest shooters of all time will be teaming up with a northern Kentucky distillery on a new bourbon. Thanks to the partnership with California winery owner John Schwartz, Stephen Curry’s SC30 Inc will be using its new joint venture with Boone County Distilling to develop Gentlemen’s Cut, which is a 90-proof bourbon that is “aged between five and seven years in new charred white oak barrels," according to Yahoo Finance. Additionally, Gentlemen’s Cut, according to Yahoo Finance, is distilled, aged and bottled in Boone County by “Game Changer Distillery, which is the joint venture between Curry, Boone County Distilling and Schwartz. Curry, 35, has been investing in other businesses for quite some time. He invested in SnapTravel, Tonal, Oxigen, TSM and Unanimous Media, according to essnetiallysports.com. Curry invested in SnapTravel in 2018. The company is an online travel booking site. “Snaptravel operates as a travel agent over messaging offering these same great rates over a private 1:1 chat, while eliminating the overhead of a physical retail store,” according to the site. In 2021, Curry invested in Tonal, a home smart fitness machine. Essentially, it’s “all-in-one-stop" for all home workouts, which was a big hit in 2020 due to folks staying in because of COVID-19. “I’ve had a Tonal for almost two years,” Curry said in a press release.”While in quarantine during COVID, I have relied heavily on it to maintain my strength training and believe it is revolutionizing how people will work out now and in the future.” Also, in 2020 he invested in a beverage company, Oxigen. According to essentiallysports.com, the company is supported to help in muscle recovery. In an interview with CNBC, Curry said there was a reason he invested in the company. “…(I've invested with brands and partners that I truly believe in,” Curry said. “(I aim) to make sure that people understand the benefits that the product brings to you beyond just the taste.” Two more businesses he invested in 2018 were TSM and Unanimous Media. TSM is an esports organization, while Unanimous Media is a newly formed media company.
- Higher Purpose Co. Non-Profit Is Helping Mississippi Black-owned Businesses Get Funding
Dr. Tim Lampkin and his team have created a connected network of businesses and support services, have built relationships and are helping to close the wealth gap for Black business owners in Mississippi. “When we first started Higher Purpose Co. in 2016, it was really to fill the void that I saw in the community to support Black-owned businesses. And as we evolved, I recognized that there was a huge racial wealth gap,” said Dr. Tim Lampkin founder and CEO of Higher Purpose Co. Lampkin has over a decade of community development and entrepreneurship experience. He previously managed the Racial Equity Program for the Mississippi Humanities Council, which won the national 2018 Schwartz Prize. Lampkin also worked for Southern Bancorp Community Partners to implement multi-million community initiatives and has advised rural entrepreneurs in several counties served by Delta State University. Knowing that business ownership is a direct path to wealth creation, Lampkin knew this was the best area for them to focus their efforts. Higher Purpose Co, is an economic justice nonprofit building community wealth with Black business owners across Mississippi by supporting the ownership of financial, cultural and political power. Located in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region, Higher Purpose Co. is making a major impact throughout the state. “We focus in on for-profit Black-owned businesses. Majority of the businesses that we work with are kind of in that early stage or growth stage of their business," said Lampkin. They must be a resident of Mississippi and their business must be located in Mississippi. To date, the Higher Purpose Co. serves 200 business owners across the state through a business collaboration created to work together to keep businesses in their community growing. Members receive access to one-on-one business advising, monthly business education meetings and courses, and are able to take advantage of trusted referrals for credit counseling, marketing, accounting, legal and more. Additionally, members receive access to grants and other funding sources through the Higher Purpose Funding Network & Fellowship Program. “Since November of 2019, we've deployed $1.3 million in capital to support black-owned businesses here in the state of Mississippi,” said Lampkin. “And we're currently in the process of rebooting and relaunching the funding network here in the next quarter to really make sure that we're continuing to get capital in the hands of people that truly need it to help them elevate their businesses.” The company has grown quickly and is working to expand its breadth and reach. The Higher Purpose Hub is currently in development for a multi-generational 14,000 sq ft regional community wealth hub designed to support community business endeavors in Clarksdale. “It's a $3 million project that we're working on here in Clarksdale, MS,“ said Lampkin. “It is going to be amazing. We purchased the building in November 2019 with some support from one of our anonymous donors and we just started to really build out the concept.” The facility will have a multi-purpose theater, food hall, creative learning lab, business incubator space, and a civil rights museum in house. "This is something that this area has never seen before,” said Lampkin. “This is going to be a huge economic driver to the area, it's going to attract so many people and create so many different jobs for people locally.” In light of their work, The Higher Purpose Co. continues to garner support from their community. “City and the county officials absolutely support our work and also when we do events and they show up and they get the word out because of the work that we do," said Lampkin. The Higher Purpose Co. is building community wealth, more than just capital. It's a network of successful businesses, services and people that can grow and support themselves and the local economy while creating relationships, which Lampkin believes is paramount. “A lot of people don't understand that building relationships is a form of currency. And if you're able to, do that in a very authentic way you will always be in a position to get what you need and get what you want, in business or even just in life.”
- Rome Flynn Talks 'With Love,' His Non-Negotiables When Dating
Season two of the hit Prime Video series With Love is now streaming. If you haven't seen the first season, this is your reminder to go tap in. The romantic comedy showcases the different levels of love all while navigating through the pitfalls of life. With Love revolves around a Latino family and all the relationships that they encounter. It puts representation at the forefront and displays love in all communities. Rome Flynn plays Santiago, the main character Lily's boyfriend, at least that was in season one. At the end of the season, the two break up and in this new season, we pick up where they left off. We recently had the opportunity to talk with Flynn about if he shares characteristics with his character Santiago, any non-negotiables when dating and more. Flynn said there are some similarities between his Santiago role and himself in real life. “I do go off of some of his ideologies and some of the things he agrees with. I think for me, I would agree with him in certain aspects – not to the extreme now I feel like he is. Yea, there are definitely aspects I feel like we can agree on,” Flynn said. Flynn says he does have some non-negotiables when dating. "It’s hard for me to say any cliché ones, right?" Flynn asked. "But you got to be ambitious. I think that I feel [that] is the core makeup of a person’s integrity and what they want. What are you chasing? What wakes you up in the morning? And I think that’s something that needs to happen with a partner 100%. Another is a sense of family. … That needs to be an important integral part in a person’s life, although work is very much a part of the revolving mind, but you have to come from that foundation of family. I think everything else can be compromised and talked through.” When asked what he learned after filming With Love, he shared: “...I feel like the work that I’m doing on this show is underlined with the love but also it’s the humor in it, finding the humor in those things is a challenge I enjoy, because I think that all of us have the capacity to have the humor and also have the capacity to love, and I feel like this character I’ve had the opportunity in the first season to be humorous, be funny, but also have these different colors and different variations of him,” Flynn said. Flynn certainly has different variations of himself when it comes to his everyday life. Not only is he on your TV screens but he also is a musician with music on all the major streaming platforms. Start watching With Love Season 2 on Prime Video. Check out the full interview below.
- 'Shooting Stars' Director Says He Was Intentional About Displaying Fatherhood, Black Family
Many have met the legendary basketball icon and philanthropist LeBron James when he was already a star coming out of Akron, Ohio. But people really don't know how he rose to fame and how the village he was surrounded by helped catapult the legend to stardom. Shooting Stars gives us a better look at James when he was in high school and how his squad, also known as the "Fab Five," helped him become the star he is today. It is essentially an adaptation of a memoir of the same name written by James and Buzz Bissinger but also the 2009 documentary More Than a Game. Starring Wood Harris, Marquis "Mookie" Cook, Caleb McClaughlin and Algee Smith, Shooting Stars goes a little bit deeper than the documentary and really displays how family and friends created the foundation that James would eventually stand on. The biopic was directed by Chris Robinson, who shared in an interview with The Quintessential Gentleman that he only met LeBron James once. Learn about what Robinson discovered about James after shooting, why he was intentional about displaying fatherhood and the Black family in the film and more. (Transcript Edited - Interview conducted May 30,2023) Why did you want to be a part of this film? When you make a film it takes up a lot of time in your life. I've been on this one for three and a half years. And the longer you're in your career, you're more selective to the things you want to do. And when I read this script, it just resonated with me. Resonated about my personal experiences, my family experiences. I'm a big sports fan, and really understanding the psychology of what makes greatness. What was your thought process around the intentionality of the family dynamic and Black fatherhood in Shooting Stars? Absolutely, it was intentional. Representation is very important for us. You know, how we're seeing on screen. Being able to see this story, which is kind of a father-son story. It's a story of brotherhood, being on screen, and telling a story that's not about trauma, which some of those stories are necessary, and some of them are my favorite films. But when I read the script, it was the opportunity to tell the story and see Black boys on the screen this way. To know that there's a father there. To know that there's a mother there. To know that they work things out amongst themselves, that really speak to the heart in an experience that many of us had. What was the most challenging part about directing this film? Making a film is difficult. It's hard to make a mediocre film, right? It's just so many moving pieces, you're working with 200 people a day on set. And it's challenging, but I think for this one, it was actually the amount of authenticity that I wanted to bring to it. Representing people who are alive and well and kicking and thriving, who are going to watch this movie, who lived through the experience. It was really studying. Going beyond the X's and O's, as they say. It's not a basketball movie, per se. But simultaneously, we've got to shoot the best basketball shot. So I think it was that combination of trying to make a story that touched people emotionally and being authentic, because it's a true story, and then creating the action that made it elevated. What did you learn about LeBron after directing the film? I think I learned that he didn't skip any steps. Right? We see a fully formed LeBron James winning championships being a billionaire and a mogul. But it started at the Salvation Army. It started with his coach kind of telling him, 'Look, your success is connected to how well you deal with pressure.' His relationship with his mom. The projects he grew up in. The Midwest mentality of hard work. Like all these things were going on while he was 13,14, 15. It's a true story. So, I always thought he is like this phenomenal player but I learned that him and his community are a group of phenomenal human beings and family. And that foundation that was created really matters to where he is today. Shooting Stars is now streaming on Peacock. Check out the full interview below.
- Meet Blitz Bazawule, The Director Of 'The Color Purple' Musical Film
Over forty years after Alice Walker’s award-winning novel The Color Purple was released, a second film iteration will be coming soon. Produced by Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones and Steven Spielberg, the Tony award-winning Broadway musical version of the novel will be heading to the big screen Christmas Day. While Spielberg directed Winfrey and other cast members, which include Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and Laurence Fishbourne, in the 1985 Academy Award-nominated film adaptation of the novel, the directorial torch has been passed on to Samuel “Blitz” Bazawule. He with take the reins in the upcoming The Color Purple, which stars Fantasia Barrino, Halle Bailey, Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins and Deon Cole. Here are seven interesting facts about Blitz. Bazawule, known as Blitz the Ambassador, was born in Accra, Ghana, and rose to prominence in the American hip-hop scene in the mid-2000s before moving into directing. Blitz’s directorial debut, which was his 2018 film The Burial of Kojo, received consideration by the Golden Globes for a nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category. It was also notably the first Ghanaian film to ever be considered for a Golden Globe nomination. The film was also the first original Ghanaian film to be featured on Netflix. In 2015, Blitz received the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Contemporary Music. The Vilcek Prize is awarded to immigrants who have made great contributions to the US in the areas of the arts and sciences. The Vilcek Foundation also published a manga biography about Bazawule and his achievements. Bazawule published his debut novel in 2022 titled The Scent of Burnt Flowers. The novel follows a Black couple fleeing persecution in the 1960s and seeking asylum in Ghana. The novel is being adapted into a six-episode miniseries on FX starring Yahya Abdul Mateen II. After having a hard time getting signed to a major music label to release his album titled Stereotype, he created his own independent label Embassy MVMT. Blitz was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in honor of his work on The Burial of Kojo. Blitz is notable for directing Beyonce’s Black is King in 2020. The project was a visual companion to Beyonce’s album The Lion King: The Gift. He received an NAACP Image Award nomination for his work on the project. We look forward to seeing The Color Purple and more from Blitz. Check out the trailer for the new The Color Purple movie below: