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Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 3:52 pm


Ice Cube is making another foray into television as the writer and executive producer of an hour-long buddy cop comedy for NBC.


       According to the Hollywood Reporter, the artist’s production company Cube Vision has teamed with Universal Media Studios to produce the untitled project. The rapper’s Cube Vision partner Matt Alvarez will also serve as an executive producer.      

       NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios chairman Ben Silverman said he had been aggressively pursuing Cube to create an action comedy for the Peacock.


       “As we continue to expand our roster of diverse talent both on-camera and behind the camera, a guy like Ice Cube, who’s multitalented, is someone we really wanted to be in business with,” Silverman said. “He’s had an amazing career, to have gone from NWA to this.”       

       Cube is not attached to star in the project, but NBC brass is hoping that the hip-hop star, actor and writer will put in some face time down the line, perhaps even in the pilot.       

       “We really want to capture his voice and his eye for talent, and his producing acumen,” Silverman said. “If he appeared in the pilot or series, we’d be really excited about that.”       

       Cube’s TV resume includes serving as an executive producer for Showtime’s version of “Barbershop,” and for the FX reality series “Black. White.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:43 pm
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Director John Singleton is no longer attached to direct the feature film adaptation of the 80s TV series “The A-Team,” according to Variety.


      The filmmaker reportedly balked at Fox’s attempt to delay the long-gestating project for another year to allow more time for script development. The project had already been delayed multiple times due to script issues.


      The Web site ComingSoon.net claims Fox is really pushing back the film to make room for an “Alvin and the Chipmunks” sequel. In either case, “The A-Team” release date has been moved from June 12, 2009 to June 11, 2010.


       Ice Cube and Tyrese were both under consideration to play the character of B.A. Baracas, portrayed in the television series by Mr. T. 



Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 2:17 pm

In the video for his new single “Why Me,” Ice Cube speaks out against senseless killings in America’s inner cities with the help of parents still grieving the shooting death of their 17-year-old son Jamiel Shaw Jr.         

       The clip (watch below) begins with the tear-stained faces of Shaw’s mother, father and aunt recalling the moment they heard about his shooting. His father recounts a final conversation with his son.


      Shaw had been on track for a college sports scholarship when he was gunned down in March a few yards from his house in a working-class neighborhood south of downtown Los Angeles. His mother was serving in the Army in Iraq at the time.


       Pedro Espinoza, an illegal immigrant and suspected gang member who had been released from jail a day earlier on weapons charges, has pleaded not guilty to the murder. Prosecutors say Espinoza drove to Shaw’s neighborhood and shot him after asking him about his gang affiliation. Police have said Shaw was never in a gang.


      “It just was a tragic, tragic story of why,” Cube tells the Associated Press. “Young people are dying for no reason all over the world that don’t know why. It’s ugly, everywhere.”


       “To drive this home, it was only right to use real family and not use a bunch of actors,” Cube says of his video.


       The footage also features photographs of dozens of other crime victims blowing from a tree, then across the sand in the desert. It also depicts a young man in a football jersey being gunned down on a street. As he lay dying, he asks, “Why me homie, why me?”


       Espinoza’s early release from jail led the Shaws to call for the passage of “Jamiel’s Law,” which would push Los Angeles police to crack down on illegal immigrant gang members.      

       Cube says the video is not meant as an endorsement of the legislation. “It ain’t really a commentary on that,” he says. “You’ve got a person being killed by a person he don’t know for a reason he don’t know … Who cares if it was an immigrant or if it was a taxpaying citizen?”


       For the Shaws, appearing in the video was a chance to further their petition drive to qualify the proposed law for the November ballot.


       “Every time I start watching it, I start crying,” Jamiel Shaw Sr. says. “At the same time, I feel good that we are getting the word out.”


“Why Me?” – Ice Cube feat. Ice Cube


Trick Trick CD; Michelle Williams CD; ‘Fela!’ extended; Shaq’s retirement; Jim Jones on ‘Crash’; Gucci Mane in jail September 15, 2008

Jermaine Dupri is being sued by a woman who claims he recorded their personal phone call for use in a song without her permission. Aika Kendrick is seeking $250,000 for the use of her vocals, according to TMZ.com. Daz Dillinger and Virgin Records are also named in the suit.      

       *KOCH Records announces the release of “The Villain,” the new album by Detroit rapper Trick Trick. The set features Eminem, Kid Rock, Ice Cube, Guilty Simpson, Paradime, Diezel, Esham, and Royce da 5’9. The set’s lead single is “Let It Fly” ft/ Ice Cube.  Trick Trick handled most of the production duties, while Enimem produced three tracks and Dr. Dre produced one song. The album also includes “Together Forever,” a Run DMC remake featuring the late Proof, Kid Rock, and Detroit veteran Esham.


       *Music World/Columbia Records will release “Unexpected,” the new solo album from Michelle Williams, on Tuesday, Oct. 7. Executive produced by Mathew Knowles, “Unexpected” finds Michelle collaborating with Jim Jonsin, Rico Love, Wayne Wilkins, Andrew Frampton, StarGate and more. “We Break The Dawn,” the first single from “Unexpected,” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay chart. Other stand-out tracks include the album’s two latest singles, “The Greatest” and “Hello Heartbreak” and “Stop This Car.”


      *Off Broadway musical “Fela!” has extended its run at 37 Arts by two weeks, pushing its closing back from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4, reports Variety. Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones (“Spring Awakening”), the production follows the life and music of Afrobeat performer and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti. 


       *Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal has said his retirement from the NBA will come at the end of the upcoming season. “My basketball career will be over in 735 days,” he told News 13 television in Orlando, Fla. “And being an educated man, I’ve always had things to fall back on. So one of my options is law enforcement.” O’Neal – who was drafted by the Orlando Magic but has since played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns – went through training with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Reserve Academy before becoming a reserve officer with the L.A. Port Police.


       *Rapper Jim Jones will guest star on the series premiere of “Crash” on the Starz cable network.  The television adaptation of the Oscar-winning film is being produced by Don Cheadle and is scheduled to premiere on Oct. 17.


       *Rapper Gucci Mane is back in jail after prosecutors complained that he failed to complete mandatory community service. Allhiphop.com reports that the rapper only served 25 of 600 hours of his community service and violated his probation multiple times by using alcohol, marijuana and ecstasy. In July, he was accused of driving under the influence, marijuana possession and possession of a weapon by a felon. Because of the offenses, he must now serve the remaining year left on his three and a half year sentence, for assault.



Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:43 pm
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After a thorough “character assessment” by immigration officials in Australia, Snoop Dogg has been granted a visa to tour next month on the condition that he gets conduct counseling and speaks to at-risk youth during his stay.       

       Officials had banned him from the country in May 2007 due to his criminal record. They decided to clear him last month for the October tour, but then demanded more information and a “full character assessment” of the rapper after a spate of public complaints from Australian victims groups.      

       Oscar-winning Australian actor Russell Crowe last week wrote a letter to immigration officials to support Snoop’s visa application, citing the artist’s charity work in support of urban youth. The department also considered the fact that Snoop’s previous three trips to Australia – in 1998, 2006 and early 2007 – occurred without incident.


       “We took into account all relevant factors and, on balance, the department decided to grant the visa,” an immigration spokesman said. “In making this decision, the department weighed his criminal convictions against his previous behavior while in Australia, recent conduct — including charity work — and any likely risk to the Australian community.”       

       Snoop is now cleared to join Ice Cube and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony down under for the 17-day Smokin’ Out tour beginning next month.       

       “Mr. Broadus will need to abide by Australia’s laws and he will be formally counseled before his arrival about his visa conditions and our expectations relating to his conduct,” the statement read.


       Snoop has also agreed to do charity work with at-risk youth during his visit.


DETAILS ANNOUNCED FOR SNOOP’S AUSTRALIA TOUR: Visa ban lifted, allowing rapper to travel Down Under with Ice Cube and Bone Thugs September 3, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 2:38 pm
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Now that Snoop Dogg has officially been approved to enter Australia, promoters have released the itinerary for his upcoming tour in the region with Ice Cube and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.


      The trek kicks off Oct. 27 at the TSB Bank Arena in Wellington and will hit such cities as Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.


      The Long Beach MC, born Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr., was originally banned from entering the country in August 2007 due to recent run-ins with the law and his past criminal record.


       He was approved for a visa last week, but local organizations expressed outrage, leading immigration officials to mount another character assessment before ultimately deciding to accept his visa.

      Tour dates are listed below:

Oct. 27, Wellington, TSB Arena
Oct. 29, Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
Oct. 31, Sydney, Acer Arena
Nov. 2, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena
Nov. 5, Adelaide, Entertainment Centre
Nov. 7, Perth, Burswood Dome


ICE CUBE & KEKE PALMER TAKE A ‘SHOT’: Duo star in new family film ‘The Longshots’ August 22, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:59 pm
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Are you ready for some football? Though the NFL and college seasons haven’t officially begun, you can get a taste of the sport in the new family friendly film “The Longshots,” starring Ice Cube and Keke Palmer, starting this weekend in theaters nationwide.


      The film tells the true story of a young girl who becomes the first female to quarterback a team into the Pop Warner football championships.


      “I play a guy named Curtis Plummer who’s really down and out,” Cube described. “He’s given up in a lot of ways. His mother died a couple years ago and now all he does is hang out in the park, drinking, and reminiscing about the good ol’ days. Through taking care of his niece, giving him some responsibility as well as the game of football, it kind of brings him back from the dead to being a self-respecting man.”


      “They make a connection,” Palmer continued, “and that’s how they both come together.”


      Both actors told reporters that the thing that drew them to the film was the fact that it’s a true story. “The Longshots” is based on the actual real story of Jasmine Plummer who, at the age of eleven, became the first female to play in Pop Warner football tournament in its 56-year history.


      “That is really what makes this worth making a movie about. Anybody can make believe something like this. We’ve seen ‘Princess Quarterback’ back in the day,” Cube said, drawing on the 1983 film that starred a young Helen Hunt, “but this is true story about real people. Football is just really the backdrop of this movie. This movie is about two people getting themselves off the deck, building their self-esteem back and in the process, building their community back.”


      Palmer agreed that the real-life story was a draw, but added that she was excited about working with Ice Cube again. She starred in “Barbershop 2” with the rap/film star.


      “Those two things made me want to be a part of it,” she said, “especially because it was so inspiring – a young girl going to the National Pop Warner championship on an all-male football team. That is a story that needs to be told and I wanted to be a part of that.”


      The two also reflected on their own true-to-life long shot stories. Both explained that pursuing their careers was a major long shot for them.


      “It’s been a long shot to make it in the rap game,” Cube admitted. He explained that being a West Coast rapper at a time when rap was dominated by the East was a major gamble.


      “And going from doing that to making a movie like this and being accepted, and it being now normal and not such a novelty thing – that’s a long shot.”


      Palmer and her family put a lot on the line for her career, too.


      “I’m originally from Chicago and my whole family drove four days and three nights to California to help me with acting. I definitely think that was a long shot.”


       Still, another long shot for the two was casting the film. Cube, along with director Fred Durst (yes, that Fred Durst, founder of the Nu Metal band Limp Bizkit), were glad to have Palmer in the cast, but were initially concerned about her athletic prowess. Palmer admitted she knew very little about the game of football.


      “I knew a bit about it, because my dad watches it, but I wasn’t a huge fan of it or anything like that,” Palmer said of going in for the project. “So I went out to Louisiana where they filmed the movie, I was coming in fresh learning [everything] I could about the sport. I got the mechanics and got my feet down and everything came together.”


      “Once I knew Keke could do it, I was very relieved,” Cube said of securing the actress’ availability. “I knew the acting would be perfect, but I was a little worried about if she could throw the football or not. Once I got to Louisiana and we went out on the field, I told her to show me what she’s got and she threw a spiral right between the numbers and I said, ‘Looks like we got a movie here.’”


      Palmer wasn’t the only one to do a little research and adaptation for her role. Cube said that he reflected on some people he’d known to help him develop the initial defeatist attitude of his character.


      “I know people who have given up on life. So I drew from the guys I would see not hanging out, not really having any plans for their future,” he said. “I drew on that more than the real guy. We just wanted to have a guy, take him from the bottom and give him purpose, and put him back on top.”


      “The Longshots” opens today in theaters everywhere. Check the official website at http://www.thelongshots-movie.com. Look for Keke Palmer in her new Nickelodeon series, “True Jackson, VP” coming this fall and new projects with Ice Cube, including the rumored “A Team” movie.