Chicago's very own Lena Waithe just inked a new deal with Sight Unseen Pictures. The deal includes developing and financing independent projects that identify and champion emerging voices currently underserved in the marketplace. “I’m so excited to be partnering with such a forward-thinking production company like Sight Unseen," said Waithe. “My mission is to help introduce the industry to new and exciting voices, while putting money in those writers pockets.”
“We share the same goal of championing fresh, new and interesting stories and Lena embodies that unique perspective. We aim to continue to elevate talented writers and directors who tell stories that push cultural and social boundaries.." said Lebedev, Vaisman, and Moverman of Sight Unseen.
I had the honor of meeting Lena (pictured above) with Donda's House at a private screening of Waithes & Common's joint project for Showtime, 'The Chi.' Immediately following the screening was a Q&A where she
mentioned creating opportunity for underserved voices who push a positive social agenda.
This new deal is exactly what she needed to push her goal forward.
Last night, Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood was morning the deaths of four people who were shot in a rifle attack. Police are saying that they believed one of the deceased was pregnant.
The shooting happened about 8:40 p.m. in the 4700 block of South Fairfield Avenue, police said. Three male occupants, ages currently unknown, and a woman were inside a vehicle when someone inside a white SUV opened fire on them with a rifle, police said.
The shooting happened near the office of Ald. Raymond Lopez, 15th, who sparked a firestorm this past spring when he said "no innocent lives were lost" after two people were killed and eight others wounded when two masked gunmen with rifles opened fire on a group congregating at a makeshift memorial for a man who had been slain in an earlier shooting.
As Chicago weather heats up, so do the festivals and activities throughout the city and suburbs. With so many choices, it can be hard to know where to go for some fun and relaxation. That's why we put together this list of the best events happening this weekend:
When: Friday, June 2nd 5-10pm; Saturday & Sunday, June 3rd & 4th 12-10pm
Where: 2000 W. Division St. Chicago IL 60622
What: The Do Division Street Fest and Sidewalk Sale spans 10 city blocks, on Division Street from Ashland to Leavitt, and features two live music stages, a Family stage, a wide variety of local vendors and food, plenty of ice cold beer and wine, unique kid’s activities in a dedicated Family Fun Fest area (which exclusively benefits local elementary schools), Do Fashion with a runway and DJs; plus an elaborate Sidewalk Sale put on by the Division Street merchants.
How Much: Donation is asked. Food and Drink vary per vendor
When: Friday, June 02 - Sunday, June 04 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Where: 26th & California (Little Village)
What: Call it Chicago’s “Taste of Mexico.” Lovers of South-of-the-Border foods will be in culinary heaven when the third annual Flavors of Mexico turns 26th Street in the heart Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood into a flavorful food and music happening. Beyond authentic Mexican treats (tacos, gorditas, flautas, enchiladas and tortas) from nearly a dozen Chicago restaurants, there’s also a non-stop music lineup, carnival rides and arts/crafts.
How Much: Donation is asked. Food and Drink vary per vendor
When: Saturday June 3, from 1 to 9 p.m.
Where: Lake St. & Marion St. (Oak Park)
What: Wine aficionados will have a unique opportunity to sample over 150 wines from more than 15 local wineries and taste locally-produced artisan foods at Downtown Oak Park’s fourth annual Uncork Illinois event.
How Much: $20 Admission includes a free souvenir glass and seven tastings tickets.
When: June 3 - 4 1pm -7pm
Where: 53rd and Harper (Hyde Park)
What: 4th Annual Hyde Park Brew Fest Located in the Heart of Downtown Hyde Park. Good Music, Craft Beer, and Great People. DJ's and Live Music. Food and Craft Vendors and over 30 different breweries.
How Much: FREE. But you must buy tickets for the Beer Sampling 21+
When: Sunday, June 4th 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: 52Eighty Rooftop Lounge - Cambria Hotel Chicago, 166 E. Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60611
What: Sounds of Summer is the ultimate summer day party on one of the best rooftops in Chicago. Presented by Shuffle Presents & 52Eighty, this awesome weekly series will feature the city's best DJ’s, amazing drink specials, and of course - tons of sun.
How Much: FREE to enter, must pay for food/drinks, register ahead 21+
Add another one to the list of can't miss summer music festivals. Billboard and Live Nation has just released their line-up for the annual Billboard Ho1 100 Music Fest. The festival is set for August 19-20 at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY.
This years headliners include Big Sean, DJ Khalid, Major Lazer and Gucci Mane. They will be joined by Lil Yachty, Tinashe, T-Pain, Young Thug, Ty Dolla Sign, Waka Flocka Flame and more. More artist are expected to be added to the two-day fest in the future.
Tickets are officially available starting Monday, May 22 at 10:00 a.m. EDT at LiveNation.com. Stay tuned for more details and visit hot100fest.com for more info.
ABC held it's Upfronts in New York City today and the had several big time announcements. One of the biggest announcements came via "American Idol." While it was already known that the music talent competition will have a new home on the Disney owned channel coming this fall, the ABC Entertainment President, Channing Dungey, revealed that "E.T." singer Katy Perry will be the lead judge.
Katy Perry was not present at the Upfronts, but she did post a message to twitter showcasing her excitement.
No word yet on who the other judges will be or if Ryan Seacrest, who just signed on to be Kelly Ripa's co-host on "Live," will return as host.
There's nothing better than a music festival during the summer. The weather is amazing, everyone's having a great time and if you are at the right festival, you get to enjoy the music of one of Chicago's best, Chance The Rapper. If that sounds like a good time to you, you may want to get your passport and take a trip to Pemberton, British Columbia, Canada fo the Pemberton Music Festival.
The July 13-16 event will feature Chance the Rapper, A Tribe Called Quest, Run The Jewels, Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, Joey Bada$$, Lil Yahty, Big Sean, Khalid, Nelly and more.
If you are interested in the trip up north, you be happy to know that a limited supply of advanced tickets go on sale tomorrow (May 2) and you can check out the prices and plans here. For the full lineup check out the image below.
North Coast Music Festival (NCMF) is thrilled to reveal the artist lineup for its eighth annual year, taking place on the sprawling grass of Chicago’s Union Park from Friday, September 1 to Sunday, September 3, 2017! Featuring incredible tree-dotted views of the city skyline, and 80 unbeatable performances from all corners of the creative pool, “Summer’s Last Stand” is music lovers’ chance to end the season on a high note.
Single Day, 3-Day and VIP Tickets Are On Sale Now at northcoastfestival.com! Layaway plans are also available for just $45 down for General Admission, and $55 down for VIP.
For fans of bombastic hip hop, high-flying electronic rhythms and crooning jam bands, Coasties can look forward to an experience that provides something for everyone. Headlining the festival on Friday will be a back-to-back set from electronic music legends DEADMAU5 and ERIC PRYDZ, joining forces to bring their monumental house and techno creations to the main stage, and international hip hop figure GUCCI MANE, coming on the heels of his 10th studio album release The Return of East Atlanta Santa. On Saturday, reggae prodigy DAMIAN “JR. GONG” MARLEY, instrumental electronic rock ensemble SOUND TRIBE SECTOR 9 (STS9), and champion of Chipotle and wild bass heaters CARNAGE will end the evening in extraordinary style and spectacle. Finally, eclectic alt-rock heroes WEEN, iconic electronic composer TIPPER and a soon to be announced SPECIAL SURPRISE HEADLINER will close out the weekend on Sunday.
In addition to the headliners, North Coast continues to host a thrilling roster of artists from a variety of genres each day. Kicking off Day 1 will be soulful electronic creator BONOBO playing LIVE alongside a full band, up-and-coming jokester rapper LIL DICKY, Boston-based funk family LETTUCE, and groovy hip hop instrumentalists BADBADNOTGOOD. A second surprise guest will be announced at later date, along with New Orleans nu jazz collective THE RUSS LIQUID TEST, left-of-center singer songwriter HARRISON BROME, Midwest-based rapper WEBSTERX, multi-talented jazz and hip hop singer AKENYA, and Chicago's resident laidback DJ EDAMAME.
Day 2 will see live sets from half of the legendary hip hop duo Outkast, BIG BOI, cover band responsible for the Grateful Dead's greatest hits JOE RUSSO'S ALMOST DEAD, and electro-soul composer MANIC FOCUS with his accompanying band, coming off his newest album Mind Rising, along with a raucous rap performance from steadily rising hip hop extraordinaire POST MALONE. Attendees can also look forward to the vocal-centered dance music flyers of DON DIABLO and acclaimed R&B storytellers TANK AND THE BANGAS. Completing the Saturday roster will be A TRIBE CALLED RED, WHETHAN, SPAFFORD, SUNSQUABI, LONDON ON DA THE TRACK, GOLDFISH, SAINT WKND, and CARLILE.
Day 3 will be graced by performances from U.K. grime figurehead SKEPTA, prominent dance music duo HIPPIE SABOTAGE, and three more surprise guests. Other acts include creator of the West Coast's HARD series DESTRUCTO, hip hop originators THE COOL KIDS, and additional sets by acts ELEPHANTE, ELECTRIC GUEST, LATE NIGHT RADIO, VALLIS ALPS, KASBO and Chicago’s own RICH JONES.
As waves of joy and excitement wash over us all, attendees can look forward to North Coast’s five surprise artists, painters for the heralded Live Graffiti Area and the DJ lineup for the Silent Disco and the House Dome, which will be revealed over the coming weeks! Don’t miss out and follow North Coast on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and announcements.
If you have every watched The Dave Chappelle Show, you know that Charlie Murphy provided many hilarious moments for the three seasons long sketch comedy show. Unfortunately, Charlie Murphy passed away yesterday (April 12) after a long battle with leukemia. Chappelle had a close relationship with Charlie, as did musician John Mayer, another person who made memorable appearances on the show, so the two stars decided to tribute Charlie Murphy at Mayer's concert in Ohio. You can check out the tribute below:
If your personal Spotify playlist seem light today, Hip Hop icon and music business mogul Jay Z may be to blame. Hova has made the decision to pull the majority of his music library from Spotify's streaming service. The move was apparently done on Friday (April 7).
What's left on Spotify from Jay-Z's catalog are the two albums he did with R.Kelly, 2002's Best of both Worlds and 2004's Unfinished Business. As far as singles go, you only have five to choose from now, and they are all compilations. Those tracks are "N****s In Paris" (Kanye West, Jay Z), “Numb/Encore” (Linkin Park, Jay Z), “All the Way Up” (Fat Joe and Remy Ma ft. French Montana, Infared and Jay Z), “Clique” (Big Sean, Jay Z and Kanye) and “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” (Linkin Park, Jay Z).
The move was somewhat expected as Jay Z launched and continues to be a major investor in one of Spotify's competitors, Tidal. Tidal was in the news earlier this year as the phone carrier Sprint acquired a 33% stake in the company. This latest move by Jay is seen as another attempt to close the gap in streaming subscribers by giving Tidal users something you can't find elsewhere. It was reported that Jay Z's music was also removed from Apple Music, but as of now that those not seem to be the case.
For more on this story or to hear Jay Z without restrictions, stay tuned in to Hex FM.
MTV is making major changes to their annual awards show celebrating film. First they added television and streaming to the mix, meaning that some categories will nominate movies, tv, and streaming for the same award. Now they are making another major change, they are ditching gender division for their awards.
What this means is that award for Best Actor will now include male and female performers, eliminating the best actress award. This will also be the same for the categories like Best Actor in a Show, Best Host, Best Villain, Best Hero, and Best Comedic Performance. In addition to those changes, MTV has added five new categories to accommodate the content expansion to include television and streaming, MTV's new categories are Show of the Year, Best Host, Best Reality Competition, Tearjerker and Next Generation.
As far as nominations go, Jordan Peele's horror film Get Out leads all nominations with six. They are up for Movie of the Year, Best Actor for Daniel Kaluuya, Best Villain for Allison Williams, Best Comedic Performance for Lil Rel Howery, Best Duo for Kaluuya and Howery, and Best Fight Against the System, which replaces Best Fight, and recognizes a movie or TV show whose characters best exemplify fighting against a system that tries to keep them down.
Other noteworthy nominees include Beauty and the Beast, who has four nominations, including one for movie of the year, while Hugh Jackman's final Wolverine outing, Logan, has three nominations. On the TV side, Stranger Things leads with four nominations including show of the year, best actor in a show (Millie Bobby Brown), best villain (Demogorgon) and best hero (Brown). Atlanta, Game of Thrones and This is Us each have three noms
Adam Devine is set to host the MTV Movie & TV Awards live from Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, May 7, at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can vote for their favorites on MTV.com.
The 1997 Sci-Fi hit The Fifth Element is making a return to theaters in celebration of it's 20th Anniversary.
Entertainment Weekly broke the news that the Luc Besson film will get a two day run on the big screen and will be presented as a 4K restoration. The film will be accompanied by a preview of Besson's new space opera Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, which opens in July.
Originally released in 1997, The Fifth Element stars Bruce Willis as a gruff cab driver and ex-soldier who teams up with an enigmatic orange-haired humanoid (played by Milla Jovovich) to save Earth from annihilation. The cast also includes Gary Oldman, Chris Tucker, and Ian Holm.
The screenings are set for Sunday, May 14, and Wednesday, May 17, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time. They are presented by Sony Pictures and Fathom Events.
Tickets are available at fathomevents.com. Sony’s home entertainment division will also be releasing The Fifth Element on 4K Ultra HD in July.
When it comes to the Olympics, athletes aren't the only ones who train hard, it takes a lot of preparation for the host city too. That's why Los Angeles is getting ready to duke it out with Paris, France for the right to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. For a city to win the bid it needs to show that they are ready to handle all of the games demands, house and feed athletes, provide security, and have the backing of their citizens. For L.A., that means getting celebs and athletes supporting the cause.
To help the push for the 2024 games, Dr. Dre and Magic Johnson have joined other notable names who’ll serve on the LA 2024 board.
“The diverse group of 117 leaders and innovators are drawn from the sports, entertainment, media, technology, higher education, business, philanthropic and public sectors in California and around the world, helping LA 2024 develop a Games plan that will serve the Olympic Movement in 2024 and beyond,” the site’s mission statement reads.
The International Olympic Committee will make the choice of which city will host on September 13.
The City of Chicago is adding a new feature to this year's Taste of Chicago. The 37th annual food festival will now feature a Street Art & Graffiti Alley. Four artist will be chosen to create new works everyday of the festival and participate in a meet and greet on the final day. The artworks will then be displayed in four different neighborhood for a year.
Each artist will receive a fee of $4,000. Artists will be expected to be on site daily and create one panel per day and be able to interact with members of the public while making art.
To be eligible artists must live, work or maintain a studio within Chicago city limits. Artists are expected to be active contributors to Chicago’s street art and graffiti community.
RFI due in CAFÉ by April 9, midnight CST.
Artists selected by May 1.
Total project budget: $4,000.00 per artist
Application deadline: 11:59pm CST, April 9, 2017
Taste of Chicago Street Art & Graffiti Alley, live painting and display of finished artworks.
Artist are expected to be on site daily, minimum hours are:
Wednesday-Friday hours, 11am–6pm; Saturday, 10am–6pm; Sunday, noon–6pm
It is preferred that all work is completed by end of day Saturday for the Sunday meet-and-greet afternoon.
Taste of Chicago is open daily until 9 PM and artists may work until that time if desired. In May, selected artists will meet with DCASE staff and potential post-Taste site representatives to discuss and confirm site selection and further develop artwork concept.
The budget for each artist is $4,000.00.
Eligibility and Selection Process
Taste of Chicago is about promoting Chicago. To be eligible for this opportunity artists must live, work or maintain a studio within Chicago city limits and have an active presence in Chicago’s street art and graffiti community. Artists will be selected based on the strength of their application.
Selection PanelDCASE staff and site partners.
To ApplyDeadline = 11:59pm CST, April 9, 2017
All applicants must submit the following:
1. A brief artist statement addressing how their artwork shows the strength of Chicago’s street art and graffiti community. Artists should indicate their positive experience of interacting with members of the public while creating artwork.
2. If artist has a specific neighborhood or location where they would like their artwork displayed they should indicate that and include a brief explanation of their relationship to site and neighborhood.
3. A resume that clearly highlights the applicant’s past experience and training relevant to this opportunity (no more than 3 pages – saved as a .pdf or .doc file).
4. 6-10 images of past work that best demonstrate the applicant’s skill and craftsmanship. One video, edited to no more than 2 minutes in length, may also be submitted but is not required.
5. An image list that includes the title, media, year completed, dimensions for each corresponding image. If a video is submitted, please include 2-3 sentences that describe its context.
At midnight on Tuesday (March 21), Netflix released not one but two Dave Chappelle comedy specials, The Age of Spin and Deep in the Heart of Texas. So far the comedians big comeback has mostly been showered with praise, although a few have said some jokes were too mean. This specials come from performances filmed in 2016 and 2015 respectively, and there is a third special still to come. That special will debut later this year.
Here's what's being said of the specials:
Variety: “Time and again, Chappelle shows a willingness to dissect his own thinking, share his own foibles and be honest about his mistakes and doubts.
Entertainment Weekly: "His fiery delivery and knack for re-framing social issues couldn’t have returned any sooner. In times like these, there’s a lot of comfort in knowing that one the greatest comedians alive is back to keep a keen eye on things.”
Slate: “The specials were shot in front of thousands, but Chappelle seems most on his game when he’s playing to himself rather than the crowd; he’s his own best audience. As engaging as it is to see him perform, it’s even more electrifying to watch him think.”
Complex: “The ability to be important in two mediums is rare for a stand-up comic. Only a few are able to be legends in two games. I’m not sure if he’ll ever get back into movies or television, but Chappelle’s current stand-up run is that of the goats. I can only imagine how ridiculous the third installment of this series is going to be.”
One publication was not feeling Chappelle's return so much:
Paste: “Chappelle’s reputation rests heavily on the notion that he’s smarter and funnier than anyone else in the game. This… is not smart. It’s ignorant. It’s lazy. It’s cruel.
Twitter was also lit wit Chappelle reactions:
You can check out both of Dave Chappelle's specials exclusively though Netflix.
(Posted by Hip Hop DX) She’s done it. Nicki Minaj passed Aretha Franklin for the most entries by a woman on the Hot 100 chart. Billboard announced today (March 20) that the Boss Barbie achieved the accomplishment when each one of her #3PackFromParis songs placed on the most recent chart.
Nicki now has a total of 76 songs that charted over her career with Remy Ma response “No Frauds” reaching the #14 slot with help from Drake and Lil Wayne, “Regret in your Tears” coming in at #61 and “Changed It” with more Weezy charting at #71. The Queen of Soul previously held the record with 73 tracks. She took the crown nearly 40 years ago with her “Break It to Me Gently” single giving her 54 songs and passing Connie Francis to become the woman with the most Hot 100 entries.
(Posted by Harpers Bazaar) Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot has given birth to her second child, a daughter named Maya. This marks the actress' second daughter with her husband Yaron Versano. The couple welcomed their first daughter together, Alma, in 2011. Gadot confirmed the arrival of her newborn on Instagram today when she shared a family photo with Versano, Alma and Maya in a stroller, though the latter is hidden since the picture was taken from behind.
The biggest geek entertainment event of the year is almost here. The Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) will be a can’t miss event.
The show features Stan Lee’s FINAL C2E2 appearance, Frank Miller is also set to share the stage. Other iconic guests include Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Simmons) and Iain De Caestecker (Agent Fitz) of Marvel’s Agents Of Shield,
Jason David Frank of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Jon Bernthal of Daredevil, many of the cast of Stranger Things, stars of Lucha Underground, former WWE Divas Champion AJ Mendez Brooks and more.
All of this is happening at Chicago’s McCormick place April 21-23, 2017. The Geeks and Gods crew will be there ALL THREE DAYS so if you see them, say what’s up!