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Beyoncé and Blue Ivy star in new ‘Lion King’ song ‘Spirit’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Beyoncé is celebrating her role as ‘Nala’ in The Lion King with a brand new inspirational song titled “Spirit.” The Grammy-winning music superstar debuted her self proclaimed “love letter to Africa” during Robin Robert‘s ABC Special Tuesday night.

The Queen, who still can’t believe she is starring in the film, executive produced the soundtrack for the film which features her Lion King co-star Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) along with her husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy Carter. It also features Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar and 070 Shake.

In addition, the project also features collaborations with an array of African artists and musicians including Moonchild Sanelly, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy and Mr Eazi.

The Lion King opens in theaters Friday July 19.

Check out the video below:

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Beyoncé and Jay Z salute iconic Olympic stars for Halloween [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Now this is why I love them! They always finds ways to create teachable moments for their fans.

Music’s power couple— Beyoncé and Jay Z—honored iconic Olympic stars Florence Griffith Joyner aka FLOJo and Tommie Smith for Halloween this year.

Bey is spot on with FLOJo’s long wavy locs, colorful acrylic nails and revealing bodysuit while Jay is werkin that legendary stance of Smith during the 1968 Summer Olympic Ceremony along with John Carlos

It was 30 years ago this year that FLOJo thrilled audiences around the world with her Herculean sprints during the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. All you could see was her lion’s mane flying across the TV screen and her arms in the air signaling complete victory. It was truly a sight to see.

Smith is also celebrating the 50 Anniversary of his historic protest with a new exhibition at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art titled With Drawn Arms. His raised fist was in protest of the Civil Rights injustices African Americans were facing in America and for human rights around the world.

According to the website, With Drawn Arms is the culmination of a multiyear collaboration between Los Angeles–based conceptual artist Glenn Kaino and Smith with drawings by both men as well as objects from Smith’s archives and a series of drawings contributed by students from across the United States. Click here for tickets.

Look at all of the photos below of Bey and Jay and tell us what you think:

Photo Credits: Instagram/Beyoncé and High.org

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Beyoncé makes historic ‘Coachella’ Performance (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius

WOW!

Beyoncé literally took us back to school this Sunday morning during her highly anticipated Coachella performance. The Queen B made music history as the first African American woman to headline the music festival and paid homage to Black culture all through out her show.

The were so many prideful moments including her Egyptian-inspired entrance (I believe she was channeling the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut), the HBCU marching band and J-Setters that backed her up and that beautiful rendition of the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”  She continued her homage to the culture with nods to stepping and Black Greek-Lettered fraternities and sororities, New Orleans Jazz and a befitting excerpt from the late Malcolm X (“The most disrespected woman in America is the Black woman”) plus a music sample from the late Nina Simone. It was—in other words—unapologetically BLACK!

“Coachella thank you for allowing me to be the first Black woman to headline Coachella…Ain’t that bout a Bitch…!”

Other highlights included the Destiny’s Child reunion with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams as well as her “Get Me Bodied” moment with sister Solange and Jay Z‘s appearance on “Deja Vu.”

Additional songs in her two-hour set included “Crazy in Love,” “Freedom,” “DIVA,” “Drunk In Love,” “Bow Down,” “Baby Boy,” “Partition,” “I Care,” “Formation,” “Single Ladies” and much more. She closed out with one of my favorites, “Love on Top.”

Watch more Coachella performances below:

https://youtu.be/9TUBf6l7FBg

Photo Credits: YouTube.com/Coachella

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UPFRONT featuring Constance C.R. White, Audrey Morrissey + the writers from ‘This Is Us’

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out this week’s edition of UPFRONT Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. I recently traveled to Hollywood, CA  for an NBC Press Junket and talked to Audrey Morrissey, executive producer of the popular music competition series, The Voice. Morrissey opens up about this season’s newest features including “The Block,” “The Save” and adding Kelly Clarkson as a coach.

Former ESSENCE editor and fashion expert Constance C.R. White stopped by the studio to discuss her new coffee table book, How to Slay: Inspiration from the Queens & Kings of Black Style. It features over 150 photographs of fashion icons like Josephine Baker, Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Kanye West, Jay Z and more.

Closing out the show is another NBC exclusive with three of the writers from This Is Us. Kay Oyegun, Shukree Tilghman and Elizabeth Berger discuss the success of the show, what fans can expect in season three and much more.

UPFRONT Inside Atlanta Entertainment Industry is a 30-minutes arts and entertainment program that features one-on-one interviews with all of the movers and shakers in television, music, film, theater and fashion.  UPFRONT airs every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. on WCLK 91.9 and is hosted by yours truly.

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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LISTEN UP ~ DJ Khaled feat. Jay Z, Beyoncé and Future – ‘Top Off’ (AUDIO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out new music from DJ Khaled featuring Jay Z, Beyoncé and Future titled “Top Off.” He dropped the single this morning at 6 a.m. and it’s available everywhere.

“Put my trust in the most high and my prayers are so consistent. Who would of thought, it would be like this today? Nothing beats prayers, Thank you God,” said Khaled on his Instagram page.

Tell us what you think…

Photo Credit: YouTube.com

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WATCH New Teaser for ‘Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Paramount Network released a new teaser trailer on Monday (February 26) for the upcoming landmark television event Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story.

The six-part non-scripted documentary series, executive produced by Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, will be the definitive look at one of the most talked-about and controversial events in the last decade that spurred the impactful worldwide “Black Lives Matter” movement.

The film is also based on the book Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin which is available now on Amazon.

Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story, premieres in July on Paramount Network.

Photo Credit: YouTube.com

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EBONY Digitial presents ‘Love Issue’ featuring Beyoncé & Jay Z + more

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Congratulation goes out to Beyoncé and Jay Z, Ciara and Russell Wilson plus Common and Angela Rye. The couples all appear on EBONY‘s new digital cover for February celebrating “Black Love.”

According to the magazine, “Romance is in the Air” and they’re putting a spotlight on music, television and film’s hottest unions.

Click here to see more amazing couples including Cardi B and Offset, Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’oir, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen + Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Also check out my man, Devon Franklin‘s love letter to his beautiful wife Meagan Good.

The issue also includes the women of Black Panther + #EBONYLove, 25 R&B songs that are sure to get you in the mood this Valentine’s Day. It features iconic slow jams from Sade, Faith EvansD’Angelo and more.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Photo Credits: EBONY.com

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Michael B. Jordan for ‘The Wall Street Journal’ [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

NAACP Image Award-winning actor Michael B. Jordan is just one of the many stars covering the February edition of The Wall Street Journal Magazine. The in-demand actor comes clean about his relationship status as well as starring as the villain (Erik Killmonger) in the highly anticipated Marvel movie, “The Black Panther.”

2018 is already starting out with a bang for Jordan. He was featured in Jay Z‘s Ava DuVernay directed “Family Feud” video. He is also starring in HBO’s “Fahrenheit 451” as well as “Just Mercy,” “Creed 2” “Wrong Answer” and the TV series “Raising Dion.”

He is also flexing his directing muscles with the film adaptation of “The Stars Beneath Our Feet” and the OWN coming-of-age series with Moonlight’s Tarrell Alvin McCraney.  It’s no wonder the magazine’s theme is “Talents and Legends” because Jordan is well on his way to becoming the latter.

Check out a few of MBJ’s sepia-toned images below

Photo Credits: EthanJamesGreen for The Wall Street Journal

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‘NAACP Image Awards’ to honor Danny Glover + Presenters & Performers

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

TV One and the NAACP has announced that this year’s “NAACP Image Awards” will recognize actor, activist, humanitarian and philanthropist Danny Glover. He will be honored with the coveted “President’s Award” which is given to individuals for their special achievement and distinguished public service.

In addition, this year’s list of presenters features a who’s who of celebrity talent including Sterling K. Brown, Mary J. Blige, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Issae Rae, Chadwick Boseman, Terry Crews, Yara Shahidi, Danai Gurira, Isaiah Washington, Jacob Latimore, Jay Pharoah, Jemele Hill, Josh Gad, Loretta Devine, Meta Golding, Michael Smith, Tyler James Williams, Sonequa Martin-Green, Judge Greg Mathis and Mike Colter

Common and Andra Day are scheduled to perform their Grammy nominated song, “Stand Up For Something.” There will also be appearances by Halle Berry, Mandy Moore, Octavia Spencer, Chris Sullivan, Tracee Ellis Ross, Ava DuVernay, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and more.

The all-star celebration will be hosted by Anthony Anderson and will broadcast live from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium at 9pm/8c on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, January 15, on TV One. A one-hour pre-show hosted by Terrence J will air live from the red carpet at 8pm/7c with Tanika Ray as special correspondent.

In addition, the NAACP “Entertainer of the Year” will be revealed. This special honor is bestowed upon an individual within the entertainment industry who has achieved notable success in multiple projects and mediums. The nominees include Ava DuVernay, Bruno Mars, Chadwick Boseman, Chance the Rapper, Issa Rae, and JAY Z.

CONGRATS and stay tuned…

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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Ava DuVernay, Issa Rae, Jay Z, Chadwick Bose up for ‘NAACP Entertainer of the Year’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Today voting opens for the 49TH NAACP Image Awards – Entertainer of the Year.  The winner will be revealed during the two-hour special airing live on TV One, Monday, January 15, 2018, the federal holiday marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The six nominees are: Chadwick Boseman, Ava DuVernay, Bruno Mars, Issa Rae, Chance the Rapper, and Jay-Z.

The voting is open to the general public by simply visiting the NAACP Image Awards website. Remember, it is the only place to vote for your favorite star. Fans also have until November 17 to cast their votes.

The NAACP Image Awards is the preeminent multicultural awards show, from an African American point of view. It celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film, and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.

Who are you voting for?

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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BET Announces Nominees for 2016 Hip Hop Awards

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

BET announced the nominees for this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards and Drake dominates for the third year in a row. The Canadian-born rapper received 14 impressive nominations including ‘Best Live Performer,’ ‘Lyricist of the Year,’ ‘MVP of the Year,’ ‘Album of the Year,’ ‘Hustler of the Year,’ and ‘Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style).’

Future scores the second-most nominations with 10 nods, including ‘Best Live Performer,’ ‘MVP of the Year,’ ‘Album of the Year,’ ‘Hustler of the Year,’ ‘Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style),’ ‘Best Mixtape,’ and ‘Best Collabo, Duo, or Group.’

DJ Khaled follows closely with 9 nominations, including ‘DJ of the Year,’ ‘Best Hip-Hop Video,’ ‘MVP of the Year,’ ‘Track of the Year,’ ‘Album of the Year,’ ‘Hustler of the Year,’ ‘People’s Champ Award,’ and two nods for ‘Best Collabo, Duo or Group;’ and Kanye West grabs 8 nods for ‘Album of the Year,’ ‘Best Hip-Hop Video,’ ‘Best Live Performer,’ ‘Lyricist of the Year,’ ‘Video Director of the Year,’ ‘MVP of the Year,’ ‘Hustler of the Year,’ and ‘Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style)’ at the BET “Hip Hop Awards” 2016.

Additionally, ‘Best New Hip-Hop Artist’ Award includes newcomers Chance the Rapper, Desiigner, Bryson Tiller, Tory Lanez and Anderson .Paak.

The BET “Hip Hop Awards” 2016 will be taped on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at its new venue, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, GA, and will premiere on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

See the complete list of BET “HIP HOP AWARDS” ’16 Official Nominees below:

Best Hip-Hop Video

2 Chainz – Watch Out

Desiigner – Panda

DJ Khaled F/ Jay Z & Future – I Got the Keys

Drake – Hotline Bling

Fat Joe & Remy Ma F/ French Montana & Infared – All the Way Up

Kanye West F/ Rihanna – Famous

Best Collabo, Duo or Group

DJ Khaled F/ Drake – For Free

DJ Khaled F/ Jay Z & Future – I Got the Keys

Drake & Future – Jumpman

Drake F/ Wizkid & Kyla – One Dance

Fat Joe & Remy Ma F/ French Montana & Infared – All the Way Up

Best Live Performer

Drake

Future

J. Cole

Kanye West

Kendrick Lamar

Lyricist of the Year

Chance the Rapper

Drake

J. Cole

Kanye West

Kendrick Lamar

Video Director of the Year

Benny Boom

Colin Tilley

Director X

Hype Williams

Kanye West

DJ of the Year

DJ Drama

DJ Envy

DJ Esco

DJ Khaled

DJ Mustard

Producer of the Year

DJ Mustard

Dr. Dre

Metro Boomin

Mike WiLL Made-It

Pharrell Williams

MVP of the Year

DJ Khaled

Drake

Future

Kanye West

Kendrick Lamar

Track of the Year

All the Way Up – Produced By Cool & Dre and Edsclusive (Fat Joe & Remy Ma F/ French Montana & Infared)

Controlla – Produced By BOI-1DA (Drake)

Hotline Bling – Produced By Nineteen85 (Drake)

I Got the Keys – Produced By Southside (DJ Khaled F/ Jay Z & Future)

Panda – Produced By Menace (Desiigner)

Album of the Year

DJ Khaled – I Changed A Lot

Dr. Dre – Compton

Drake – Views

Fetty Wap – Fetty Wap

Future -DS2

Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

Best New Hip-Hop Artist

Anderson .Paak

Bryson Tiller

Chance the Rapper

Desiigner

Tory Lanez

Hustler of the Year

DJ Khaled

Drake

Future

Jay Z

Kanye West

Made-You-Look Award (Best Hip-Hop Style)

A$AP Rocky

Drake

Future

Kanye West

Nicki Minaj

Best Hip Hop Online Site/App

Allhiphop.Com

Complex.Com

Hotnewhiphop.Com

Worldstarhiphop.Com

XXLMag.Com

Best Mixtape

Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book

French Montana – Wave Gods (Hosted By Max B)

Future – Purple Reign

Lil Uzi Vert – Lil Uzi Vert VS. The World

Young Thug – Slime Season 3

Sweet 16: Best Featured Verse

2 Chainz – No Problem (Chance the Rapper F/ Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz)

Drake – Work (Rihanna F/ Drake)

Kendrick Lamar – Freedom (Beyoncé F/ Kendrick Lamar)

Kodak Black – Lockjaw (French Montana F/ Kodak Black)

Nicki Minaj – Down In the DM – Remix (Yo Gotti F/ Nicki Minaj)

Impact Track

J. Cole – Love Yourz

Jay Z – Spiritual

Jidenna – Long Live The Chief

Raury F/ Key – Trap Tears

Sir The Baptist F/ ChuchPeople – Raise Hell

People’s Champ Award

Desiigner – Panda

DJ Khaled F/ Drake – For Free

Fat Joe & Remy Ma F/ French Montana & Infared – All the Way Up

O.T. Genasis F/ Young Dolph – Cut It

Travis Scott – Antidote

Young Thug – Best Friend

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WATCH Beyoncé’s moving CFDA Acceptance Speech (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

All eyes were on Beyoncé last night as she accepted this year’s CFDA Fashion Icon Award from runway legend Diane von Furstenburg. The “Lemonade” singer held the audience in the palm of her manicured hands as she honored her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson and the memory of her grandmother, Agnéz Deréon and her uncle Johnny, who all helped paved the way for her to receive fashion’s highest honor.

The multi-Grammy winner also revealed how her grandmother made clothes for priests and nuns to support her mother’s Catholic school education. She also recalled how top fashion designers turned her mother down when she solicited clothing for her group, Destiny’s Child. As a result, Miss Tina and Uncle Johnny sewed a number of the girl’s costumes and red carpet attire.

Check out the entire speech below and the last part that even moved me to tears:

“Soul has no color, no shape, no form. Just like all of your work it goes so far beyond what the eyes can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire, and empower and to show people how to embrace their complications and see the flaws and the true beauty, and strength that’s inside of all of us. Thank you so much for this incredible award, I’ll never forget this night, God bless y’all.”

Beyoncé

Photo Credit: CFDA.com

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#WORDUP The ‘Hip Hop Film Festival NYC’ is coming Aug. 3-6, 2016

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Hip Hop lovers get ready! The first-ever Hip Hop Film Festival is coming to Harlem NYC August 3-6, 2016.  The three-day festival is where film meets the narrative of the Hip Hop generation and seeks to give a platform to the underserved filmmakers of the culture, while providing a different narrative to the general public.

I recently caught up with Festival Co-Founder CR Capers to chat about this year’s activities and how it’s the first of it’s kind to also financially assist rising filmmakers.

“This is the first festival designed to give power back to the filmmaker by not only telling the stories that are told by us but also by supporting filmmakers financially. Every filmmaker that is selected gets a share of the film festival’s profits which is a first,” says CR Capers, who also hosts the “Why You Mad Son Radio Show.” “Being a filmmaker myself, I know what it’s like putting all of your blood, sweat and tears into a film and then have to pay all of the enormous fees and never hear from anyone because you don’t know a celebrity or someone on the committee. So, this is kind of a clarion call to level out the playing field and it’s definitely our time.”

big-l-extra-large-picture-psd-450214Festival highlights include the world premiere of “Street Stuck: The Big L Story,”  a documentary about slain Harlem rapper Lamont Coleman aka Big L whose career was was cut short when he was gunned down in 1999. According to Capers, Big L was preparing for superstardom.

“We have a documentary on Big L, who was slated to actually eclipse Jay Z. If you’re a hip hop aficionado then you know about Big L. He was from Harlem and was big time. There are several murals of him around the city. His best friend is the director of the film and that premiere will be driving the festival as well.”

Other premieres include a feature film from hip hop icon Ralph McDaniels. His legendary New York City cable access program “Video Music Box” was the first television program to broadcast rap videos in 1983. He is also credited for helping to launch the film careers of numerous directors and was a consultant on such projects as “Juice” and most recently “Fresh Dressed,” which aired last year on CNN. There will also be a web series competition and numerous workshops including one on “How to navigate a Distribution Deal” as well as master class with McDaniels and friends.

Capers also says that film submissions don’t have to be about hip hop and that she welcomes stories from all filmmakers including ones from LGBTQ writers and directors. This is a first for a community that has been largely criticized in the past by hip hop artists.  However, Capers hopes to bridge that gap through this year’s festival.

15764136-dancers-silhouettes-over-a-rainbow-background“It has to be a film that begins a conversation towards healing, understanding and acceptance.  It will thrive too simply because it is hip hop and it’s such a taboo subject. Anytime you hear someone talking about gay rights and hip hop and gay rappers, those are the things that get the most hits. Why? Because it’s the most controversial. The reason why it often goes in a negative direction though is because it’s never a conversation or a piece that makes people think or talk to the humanity of the person,” says Capers. “Sexuality is just that, a sexual preference. It doesn’t speak to the person’s inner humanity.  It’s going to be really interesting to see what types of stories are submitted in that vein. It will also be our job to ensure that it’s a human story that encourages dialogue rather than dissent.”

Submissions for this year’s inaugural Hip Hop Film Festival are now through March 15th.

Photo Credit: HipHopFilmFestivalNYC.com

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Jay Z and Will Smith teaming up for new Emmett Till story for HBO

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The Grio is reporting that Jay Z and Will Smith are joining forces to produce a new mini-series for HBO on the life and tragic death of Emmett Till. Till was the 14 year old African-American youth who was murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman in Mississippi in 1955.

As the story goes, Till was visiting Mississippi from Chicago, when he allegedly spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery. Her husband, Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam, went to Till’s great-uncle’s house, kidnapped him and took him to a barn where they beat him, gouged his eyes and then shot him in the head. They eventually tied a 70-pound cotton gin around his neck with barbed wire and threw his lifeless body in Tallahatchie River, where it was discovered three days later.  Till was funeralized in Chicago, where his mother insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world what had been done to her son.

No other details are available on this project.

Stay tuned…

Source 

Photo Credit: Variety.com