This New Edition Biopic Needs to be Funded. Immediately.

music, New Edition, Uncategorized

Over the years, we’ve been blessed with many biopics based on the lives of our favourite entertainers. From “What’s Love Got to Do With It”:

what's love

to “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&b”:

Aaliyah-movie

And who could forget “The Man in the Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story *shudders*.

Flex MJ

However, when trawling through the internet late one night, I stumbled across something that could potentially trump them all.

ARE. YOU. KIDDING ME???

Clapping Gif

This is the story that I’ve wanted to see for years!!

A film that captures the highs, high-tops, lows, colourful outfits and terrible, terrible hair styles of the mid-80’s to the early 90’s. Damnit, this trailer has it all. For the uninitiated, New Edition were the original New Kids on The Block and spawned the career of Bobby Brown, Bell Biv Devoe and Ralph Tresvant.

It seems like the people involved in this trailer have actually captured the essence of what makes a good biopic – getting actors that actually resemble who they’re meant to be. Remember the guy that played R Kelly in the Aaliyah biopic *shudders*. He looked absolutely NOTHING like him.  Now let’s be clear; I’m not talking Jamie Foxx in Ray (the likeness there was uncanny) but at least let’s have a passing resemblance.

The actors playing Ralph, Bobby and Ronnie are a good match without being parodies. Shout-out to the wig people for capturing Ralph’s ducktail haircut from the “Cool It Now” video. If I was born during this era, I would definitely have attempted that hairstyle. And failed.

The outfits, dance moves and sets actually look professional despite it only being a trailer and the scenes of Bobby Brown gyrating slightly too hard in concert to the annoyance of his other bandmates are pretty funny too.

Yes, some of the acting looks a bit cheesy but it was the eighties, damnit. Why don’t YOU try saying some of those lines with Jheri Curl juice drip-drip-dripping from your forehead.

When the trailer came to an end and the stark realisation hit me that this wasn’t going to be an actual movie, it had me feeling like:

sad gif

BUT there’s hope because (seemingly with all things these days) if you contribute enough to crowdfunding, this movie could actually get made. So, to all my 80’s fans and lovers of good biopics, let’s all band together and get this thing made. The attention to detail in the trailer alone is second to none. And to be frank, this could be the best biopic that’s not the NWA film to be released this decade.

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New Video: JME ft Giggs – Man Don’t Care

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The 2015 grime resurgence continues with Boy Better Know founder JME’s latest video. Man Don’t Care is one of the highlights from his latest album, Integrity, and features the Hollow Man himself, Giggs as spitting rapid-fire (yes, you read that right) lyrics over a menacing electric guitar loop. Grime fans will welcome this pairing and there are quotables galore from both MC’s with JME asking rhetorically “How can a guy with a uni degree be bussin’ up mics and chatting this grease?” and Giggs reaffirming his place in the game:

“Batman – dada dada duh-duh

Hardest – just let me confirm it

Loafers – it’s got to be Hermes

Burners – go back and hit Bernard”

The visual serves to compliment the tune further and showcases both rappers’ personalities. And I’m pretty sure JME is rocking his custom Iron Man suit again. I guess Man really Don’t Care. See what I did there?

The 5 Best (or worst) Examples of Censored Songs

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A few months ago, me, my brother and my uncle went on a road trip to Florida and as with any road trip, we spent a lot of time in the car. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. One thing that struck me was although hip hop and R&B were all over the radio stations, the majority of the songs playing weren’t really radio friendly. A casual listener isn’t likely to know what’s being said because everything is blanked out which almost rendered the songs pointless.

It got me thinking of how back in the day, there would always be the censored version and the uncensored version. In most cases, a lot of effort would have gone into making the censored versions as radio friendly as possible and you could almost play it in front of your nan without any fear of her ears being damaged by the relentless usage of the n-word, the b-word or the f-word. I just don’ think people care about this nowadays. So now I have dedicated this post some of the best and worst examples of censored ‘radio friendly’ songs. Some were great, some were plain awful, all deserve awards…

The “I Prefer the Censored Version” Award: Aaliyah ft DMX – Back in One Piece

Dark Man X usually punctuates his songs with barks, growls and “WHAT’S” but on this version of Back In One Piece from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack, he excels himself. When I heard the censored version, I thought it was cool. But add in the barks and it takes it to another level:

“A dog needs a grrrrrr…
WHAT, WHAT
A dog needs a grrrrrr…”

The “Most Pointless Censorship” of a rap song: A$AP Rocky ft Drake, Kendrick Lamar and 2Chainz – F%&*in Problems

“I love bad, bad that’s my, that’s my problem. And yeah I like to (“true!”) that’s my, that’s my problem”

What does this even mean? Word of advice: If the song has a curse word in the title then either record a new version or save it for the album. This makes no sense.

The “Most Seamless Censorship of Lyrics” Award: Eminem – “Guilty Conscience”



So when this song first came out, and at the tender age of 14 or so I learnt all the lyrics, I mistakenly thought that Eminem was a clean rapper. “My Name Is” was a song that could be played on the radio when my Nan was in the car and she wouldn’t realise it’s an explicit song. I mean, there were a few blanks here and there but nothing too crazy. It was a different story, when I heard the album version. The lyrics were pretty depraved and graphic. The radio friendly chorus was no more. In fact it was almost a completely different song. Genius censorship with new lyrics was among the many things that Eminem did best in those early days.

The “Most Awkward Adlib” – Bone Thugs N Harmony ft Eazy-E – Foe Tha Love of Money

 
Skip forward to 1:45 for the best example of awkward censorship – Eazy-E’s replacement of Mother*cough*ers to ‘Stupid Suckerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs’.
The “This is Just Lazy Award” – Tyga – Rack City
 
An example of lazy censorship. They censor bits of the verse while dubbing other parts. Favourite part?
“Got my other chick, huggin’ on my other chick
Huggin’ all night, n*gga we ain’t celibate”
But Tyga, if you’re just hugging all night, it sounds like celibacy to me. Make sense, man. Plus, I’m sure there’s an alternative to the n-word. But whatevs.
Can you think of any other great and not so great censored versions of songs??

New Music: Skepta – Shutdown

Drake, Grime, music, Skepta

Capitalising on what’s been a pretty eventful few weeks for North London’s finest, Skepta is back with Shutdown, the latest release from his upcoming album #Konichiwa. Reciprocating the love shown from Drake on Instagram back in February, Shutdown samples the Toronto superstar’s patios inflected speech  on the intro and then goes straight into an unflinching grime instrumental for Skeppy to flex over.

From Drake on Insta, to Kanye at the Brit Awards, it can only be a matter of time before Konichiwa is released. If the album contains banger after banger like this, then us UK heads are in for a treat.

Funk Fridays: Snoopzilla & Dam-Funk – Do My Thang

Dam-Funk, Funk Friday, G-Funk, Snoop Dogg, Snoopzilla

It’s roughly 20 years since Snoop Doggy Dogg’s seminal album Doggystyle was released and in that time he’s undergone a pretty wild transformation. From the start of his career as hip-hop’s scariest rapper on the world’s most dangerous record label, to a detour down south with Master P, to acting, *ahem* adult movies, Doggy Fizzle Televizzle, selling his soul commercial songs with David Guetta and…Rastafarianism resulting in an ill-advised foree into reggae… the less said about that, the better.

However, for his latest musical outing, Snoop Lion has now transformed into Snoopzilla and enlisted the help of LA funk producer Dam-Funk for an EP 7 Days of Funk. Now, on behalf of all the real Snoop Dogg fans, I would like to say…THANK YOU!

Snoop’s laidback delivery always sounds best over G-funk drenched beats and this EP is no exception. Yes, there is the inevitable use of autotune, that Snoop has somehow become addicted to (in addition to his other vices), and arguably the production steals the show. Let’s be honest, no one listens to Snoop for the lyrics. But the flow (and the autotune) perfectly fit the early 80’s vibe of the album.

One of my favourite songs is ‘Do My Thang’. What’s it about? Nothing, apart from having a good time. This song, much like the rest of the album doesn’t take itself seriously and that’s what I love about it. Laidback vibes to relax to, so if you’re feeling in the mood, press play. In fact, get the whole album and enjoy 7 Days of Funk.

Oh Alicia..

Alicia Keys

I was casually minding my own business when I came across this photo of Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber… but wait. That’s not him. At all. It’s Alicia Keys aka Miss Beatz.

Now who on earth persuaded this beautiful lady to go ahead with a bowl cut.  I knew people who had that at school. This was in the early 90’s. And they were mostly boys. Who couldn’t afford to go to a barbershop.

I’m all up for switching up a person’s look every so often,  and truth be told, Alicia’s first short cut was pretty cool. But this is an abomination. To paraphrase one of her songs, this is Unthinkable.  To (almost) paraphrase another of her songs, This Hair is (not) on Fire.

Somewhere, Mashonda is laughing to herself so hard. She might even be responsible for these memes. Swizz, come get your girl and have a long talk with her. Please.

MJ:The Greatest to Ever Do It

Michael Jackson

Today marks the 55th birthday of one of the most influential black entertainers of all time. He came from a poor background before rising and reaching commercial heights untold of in the mid 80’s. He became as well-known for his charity work as he did for his craft. Inevitably as time went on, his star began to fade a little and at times became the butt of many a joke in the industry. Now however, he appears to have moved into the category of critical acclaim once again. Of course I am talking about the one and only…. Lenny Henry!

I’m kidding. Well kind of. Happy Birthday to King Lenny definitely for his transition from comedian to polished West End actor but I’m gonna have to divert your attention to the King of Pop himself, Michael Joseph Jackson.

I can’t believe it’s been 4 years since he moonwalked out of this life and into the next one. In that time I’ve definitely seen an increase in his popularity among pop stars and the general public. I remember about 10 years ago, Usher was asked who his main influence was and he said…Bobby Brown *no shade*. I know how much he respects MJ but towards the latter years of his life, people weren’t so readily willing to admit their stanning for the King of Pop.

Not me though – there may have been questionable music phases for me but one thing that has always remained constant has been my love for Michael Jackson! He may have been as crazy as a mofo (or at least that’s what he wanted people to believe) but he was an undeniable genius who’s influence on the music industry will always be felt.

As a tribute to his greatness, it would be easy to list the standard hits (Billie Jean, Thriller, Beat It, Bad, blah blah and blah) so I’m going to go against the grain and post some personal favourites of mine that may not be so well known:

Liberian Girl 

Apparently this video was filmed while MJ was on tour and so he couldn’t really devote too much time to it. Still, he managed to get a who’s who of 80’s Hollywood stars. Your favourite star’s favourite star could never.

In the Closet

Yeah, critics scoffed at the title (probably not the best way to shut down any sexuality rumours, but I digress), this song was fire. The video features steamy scenes with Naomi Campbell and showcased a more mature side to MJ.

Your Ways

People sometimes dismiss the Jacksons as a kiddy pop group like the Osmonds. Don’t be drawn in to this misconception, especially in the early 80’s when I think Michael was at his creative peak. He penned some funky, soulful numbers that still stand the test of time today and this is one of them. Peep the falsetto though.

Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming

Pure 80’s funk, from Jermaine Jackson’s album. The song really takes on another level once Michael starts to sing. A testament to his sheer star power.

She Drives Me Wild

Purely based on the fact that we did a sick routine to this song. The car sound effects, the rap and the harmonies make this song hard not to dance to.



Heaven Can Wait

The Invincible album was panned as a flop because it “only” sold 7 million copies. Artists these days would kill for those numbers. It wasn’t a classic album by any means and contained too many New Jack Swing sounding songs, which by 2001 was very dated. Still, this mid-tempo ballad produced by Teddy Riley was one of the standout tracks.

Some Random Questions

Batman, Ben Affleck, Eastenders, Gareth Bale, George Clooney, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, MTV, One Direction, Robin Thicke, Youtube

1. Since when did Eastenders become so boring? Dry characters, drier storylines. It’s like watching paint….dry.

2. Will Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience Part 2 be even better than the first installment?

3. Was anyone else disappointed that Robin Thicke’s second single was nowhere near as catchy as Blurred Lines?

mtv.co.uk

4. It’s been a good 18 months, they’re the most popular boyband in the world – why do I only know one song by One Direction? (“Live while we’re young”, in case you were wondering)

5. Why is the new Youtube logo so plain?

6. 50 years after his ‘I have a dream’ speech, would Martin Luther King be happy with Miley Cyrus’ appropriation of ‘black’ culture?

ibtimes.com

7. Why is it that the only time they show music on MTV is during the opening credits of one of their reality shows?

8. Can Ben Affleck be any worse than George Clooney’s smirking, slapstick Batman?

9. Is anyone else bored by the whole Gareth Bale transfer saga?

10. Are meme’s the best thing ever?

I think that’s it. Answers on a postcard please…

BirdGang Dance – Doing Music

BirdGang, Chance the Rapper, dance

All too often, us Brits neglect the talent that we have on our shores for those further afield, especially when it comes to streetdance. However, I’m pretty sure that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Step forward: BirdGang Dance and their visual entitled ‘Doing Music’. I’ve been to a few of their classes back in the day and it’s pretty crazy to see how far they’ve come since those days. From a few classes in South London (with me in the back frantically trying to keep up) to their own music videos and concept pieces

The concept starts off quite slowly and I’m sure it will have many people wondering what’s going on, before building to a choreographed dance scene in the garden, with the party guests all off their face…on dance. Yep, that’s right. No typo’s here. Boosted by the fact that the whole scene is set to ‘Cocoa Butter Kisses’ by Chance the Rapper and this short film cannot go wrong. UK talent (shout-out to Ukweli Roach for the choreo) is definitely pushing things forward. Watch out USA, we’re coming…. And I should probably show my face to another BirdGang class at some point too. Enjoy.

Twerk. Twerk. Twerk. Twerk Miley…

Miley Cyrus, MTV, TV, Twerk, VMA

If you haven’t seen it, then where have you been? Miley Cyrus catapulted herself to infamy with a crazy performance at the MTV Video Music Awards and has learnt the cruel side of fame overnight. A few months ago, she reinvented herself with a new image and seemingly a love of ‘black’ *ahem* culture. And by ‘black’, I guess we mean Twerking. A few well-shot youtube videos later and she becomes the unashamed mainstream princess of twerking. Except, when she did it on national TV, she was kind of…er…well…exposed.

The whole display was a bit odd, awkward and she committed one of the most cardinal sins – she doesn’t have any junk in her trunk. That pancake was shown all over the world thrust snugly in between Robin Thicke’s groin on multiple occasions and she became the butt source of many a joke on the internet. Twitter and Instagram have been going crazy all day with memes and it will be interesting to see what the official response will be from the Miley Cyrus camp or ‘Team Twerk’ as they should never, ever be called. One thing’s for sure – the VMA’s never cease to bring up a controversial moment.