Jazzing up the Big Screen
Whenever a film about a music legend is announced, there’s a bit of nervousness from fans about casting. But every now and then, casting announcements get an almost universal, “Yeah, makes sense.” That was the case when word spread that Kill the Trumpet Player, about Jazz icon Miles Davis, had been green-lit, with Don Cheadle playing the trumpeter. Of course, it’s easy to see why Cheadle was chosen — besides his deft acting skills, Cheadle co-wrote the script and will direct the film, which he has been trying to get made for a while now.
ODB’s Spirit Lives On
Those at the recent Brooklyn, N.Y., premiere of Dirty: Platinum Edition, a documentary about late Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard, didn’t get see the film, but they sure got a strong dose of ODB’s wild and unpredictable spirit. From no-show Wu-Tang members and comical Skype issues with RZA during the pre-screening Q&A to meanering remembrances from an array of ODB cohorts, the audience grew restless. When the film finally began, it was halted after two minutes when RZA’s Skype avatar accidentally appeared on the screen. It was then explained by the filmmaker that OBD’s estate (his widow) filed a “cease and desist” order, which caused the delay and meant that the film legally couldn’t be shown at all. (Let the finger-pointing begin!)
Getting m.A.A.d. at GQ
Smashing stereotypes about Hip Hop artists, Kendrick Lamar is a potential modern Rap legend who examined the realities of growing up in Compton, Calif., with brilliant poetics and atypical insight on his breakthrough, good kid, m.A.A.d city. Lamar made the cover of GQ as one of the magazine’s “Men of the Year,” but he abruptly canceled a performance at the glitzy event celebrating the issue in protest of the feature story GQ ran. In a statement, Anthony Tiffith from Lamar’s label Top Dawg Entertainment said the cancellation was because the story was offensive and played up old Gangsta Rap stereotypes; the writer called the label a “baby Death Row Records” and wrote about how surprised he was with Lamar and his colleagues’ “discipline.” The “mystified” GQ editor issued his own statement encouraging everyone to read the story for themselves (and luckily avoiding use of the word “uppity”).