Rapper Nas kicked off a fellowship in his honour at America's prestigious Harvard University by insisting hip-hop is as important to society as computer science. The I Can hitmaker lends his name to Harvard's Hip-Hop Archive for a new programme called The Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellowship, and will benefit students who excel in the arts connected to the genre.
During Nas' visit to the university to introduce the initiative on Thursday (31Oct13), the high school drop-out told students about how music played a huge part in educating him.
He says, "One thing that drew me to hip-hop was the things (rappers) Kurtis Blow... Melle Mel was saying, I would ask my folks, 'What do Run-D.M.C. or Rakim mean by this?'
"Hip-hop is important like computer science. The world is changing. If you want to understand the youth, listen to the music. This is what's happening right underneath your nose."
The fellowship is a result of a major endowment from an anonymous donor who wanted to name the programme after the rapper.
Rapper A$Ap Rocky has been dropped from the line-up at an upcoming university concert in Toronto, Canada after he was accused of allegedly slapping a fan at Jay Z's Made in America festival. Gig-goer Lisa Wade claims the hip-hop star lashed out at her as he made his way through the crowd during his performance at the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania event on 31 August (13).
The young mother filed a criminal complaint with police earlier this month (Sep13) and A$AP Rocky was subsequently charged with misdemeanour simple assault.
The 24-year-old star, real name Rakim Mayers, has yet to address the legal action, but the charge has since prompted school officials at York University in Toronto to axe his scheduled show there on Wednesday (18Sep13), insisting, "The event cannot proceed until this matter is resolved."
However, organisers are keen to make it clear that the cancellation does not mean they think A$AP Rocky is guilty of the alleged assault, reports TMZ.com.
Lost tracks by the Art Of Noise and Das Psycho Rangers are to feature on a new remastered Zang Tuum Tumb Records collection. The Art of Noise's unreleased collaboration with Rakim on Metaforce and Das Psycho Rangers' rare Homage to the Blessed have been revamped for the upcoming double album The Organization of Pop: Music From The First Thirty Years of ZTT Records.
Music mogul Trevor Horn's revered label is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year (13), and the new compilation features classic tracks from Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Horn's band The Buggles, Seal, Shane MacGowan, Tom Jones and Grace Jones, among others.
It often happens - you walk out of a movie and have forgotten the plot, the acting, who was actually IN the movie...but the music stays with you...and stays...and stays. You don't mind the songs taking up residence in your head and wind up buying the soundtrack, thus making it a good thing that you went to this bad flick. Here are some of the most mediocre movies with great soundtracks.
1. Purple Rain (1984)
Can't remember a thing about the movie, but "When Doves Cry" is still stuck in people's brain for decades. Prince's outfits here also gave Dave Chappelle infinite fodder for his comedy. The rock legend even used Chappelle dressed up as him for the cover of his latest single.
2. Singles (1992)
This soundtrack had such music legends like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden while the movie's biggest draw was a long-haired Matt Dillon. Somehow, I think the music people got it much better.
3. Rocky IV (1985)
Russian menace Ivan Drago couldn't break this soundtrack - it was packed with such great music from Survivor, Kenny Loggins, and of course...James Brown. No wonder Rocky Balboa was inspired to come back and beat him. Oops. Sorry, spoilers.
4. Batman Forever (1995)
Val Kilmer wasn't the best Bruce Wayne, portraying him as possibly the most bland billionaire/superhero in cinema history. He made Michael Keaton look caffeinated by comparison. Really big hit songs by U2 and Seal helped make the soundtrack memorable, though. Music videos for both tunes got really heavy rotation on MTV, back when music was the primary impetus behind the channel, not reality TV.
5. The Crow (1994)
This movie got notoriety with Brandon Lee's death during filming more than from being good. The soundtrack was not a tragedy, though. It rocked, though - with the Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure and Rage Against the Machine. While it did spawn a couple of sequels, people don't really remember the original.
6. Juice (1992)
This was an OK movie that had the late Tupac Shakur in it, but it had an all-star rap soundtrack, including Naughty By Nature, Eric B. and Rakim, EPMD and Big Daddy Kane. Decades from the movie's release, people are still listening to songs like "Uptown Anthem", but the movie languishes in history.
7. The Beach (2000)
This movie sank faster than the boat in Leo DiCaprio's previous one (some film called Titanic), but it was buoyed by a soundtrack that included dance/electronic movie gods Underworld and Leftfield.
8. American Graffiti (1973)
This is a decent film that some dude named Harrison Ford appeared in before he became known as Han Solo, but it had so many great oldie songs on the soundtrack that you felt like you were transported back to 1962.
9. Vanilla Sky (2001)
This was a forgettable Tom Cruise vehicle, which was rare at the time since everything he touched turned to gold at the time the movie came out. The film has some beautiful music, including Sigur Ros' "Svefn g Englar," so we can thank the movie for raising awareness of that awesome band, at least.
10. Threesome (1994)
This was NOT an adult film, but starred Lara Flynn Boyle, Adam Baldwin, and Josh Charles. The soundtrack had several great artists, including Duran Duran, U2, Bryan Ferry and Tears For Fears - which means they should have at least titled that "More than A Threesome."
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Rihanna fuelled rumours of a romance with A$Ap Rocky when she was snapped kissing the rapper on the set of their new music video. The We Found Love singer and A$AP Rocky, who toured together last year (12), teamed up in Manhattan to shoot a promo for their new track Work on Thursday (15Aug13), and the duo was snapped getting close even when the cameras weren't rolling.
In one shot, A$AP Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers, can be seen pulling Rihanna towards him, while apparently leaning in for a kiss. Another image appears to show Rihanna cuddling up to the rapper with her arm draped over him.
It's not the first time Rihanna has sparked dating rumours after making a music video - she and hip-hop star Drake were said to have had a fling after shooting the promo for Take Care.
Rapper A$Ap Rocky has urged a New York judge to dismiss an assault lawsuit relating to his arrest in the city last summer (12). The hip-hop star, real name Rakim Mayers, is accused of brawling with Shenick Alcine in a Manhattan clothing store in July (12). The bust-up was being filmed by two photographers, who themselves became embroiled in a fight with Rocky, resulting in the 24 year old's arrest.
Alcine filed suit over the incident in December (12), claiming the rapper attacked him in the store, but Rocky has hit back, insisting any punches thrown at his accuser were in self-defence.
He is now requesting the legal action be tossed out of court, reports TMZ.com.
Rocky was charged with assault and robbery following the July (12) altercation after allegedly attempting to grab the snappers' camera following his fall-out with Alcine.
He struck a plea deal over those charges and was sentenced to three days of community service and fined $250 (£156).
The Eric B. & Rakim star was due to take to the stage to entertain the crowds at the Anniversary of the Mixtape Comedy Show at Manhattan's Gotham Comedy Club on Sunday (20Jan13), but was unable to attend due to ill health, according to the New York Daily News.
The publication reports Rock filled Rakim's 15-minute slot, taking the stage after comedienne Sherri Shepherd.
November 12, 2004 1:41pm EST
Moore announces Fahrenheit 9/11 sequel
It was bound to happen. Director Michael Moore is planning a sequel to his anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which will be set for release about the time of the next presidential campaign, a spokeswoman for distributor Lions Gate Entertainment said Thursday. Titled Fahrenheit 9/11 and ½, the sequel will revisit the same issues as Moore's original documentary, which the director hoped would sway the outcome of the presidential race against President Bush. The Republican incumbent won the election with 51 percent of the vote to Democratic Sen. John Kerry's 48 percent. "We want to get the cameras rolling now and have it ready in two (to) three years," Moore told Daily Variety's Army Archerd. "Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election), and we want to educate and enlighten them. They weren't told the truth." Moore, whose documentary grossed nearly $120 million at the U.S. box office, added: "The official mourning period is over today and there is a silver lining--George W. Bush is prohibited by law from running again."
Hugh Grant tired of acting
Hugh Grant, who plays heartthrob Daniel Cleaver in the new sequel Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason, told London's Evening Standard's Metro magazine Thursday he considers film acting a miserable experience. "It's so long and boring and so difficult to get right," the 44-year-old actor said. "I am sort of semi-retired. I keep thinking I'm going to write a brilliant script." Grant showed up to this week's London premiere of the film with his new girlfriend, heiress Jemima Khan, but told the magazine he didn't feel pressure to settle down.The Four Weddings and a Funeral star gained international notoriety when he was caught in a car with Hollywood prostitute Divine Brown in 1995. He was dating actress Elizabeth Hurley at the time.
Fans line up for Madonna book signing
Hundreds of Madonna fans lined up for 24 hours outside a central London bookstore Thursday, hoping to get a signed copy of the pop icon's new children's book, The Adventures of Abdi. But according to the AP, only the first 250 hopefuls were allowed into Selfridges on Oxford St. to for Madonna's book reading. The Adventures of Abdi is the fourth book in Madonna's five-book children's series for Callaway Editions. The company has already published The English Roses, Mr. Peabody's Apples and Yakov and the Seven Thieves, while the fifth book, Lotsa de Casha, is due for release next summer. Madonna later gave 10-minute reading to a group of 30 school children from St. Winifred's Catholic Junior School in south London.
Bill Cosby talks race on CNN
Bill Cosby, who has publicly criticized some black children for not knowing how to read or write, told CNN's Paula Zahn in an interview that aired Thursday night his opinions are consistent with what he's done as an entertainer for more than 40 years. Cosby, 67, said that as a young comic in the 1960s, he didn't want to be like other black comedians and talk about race issues. "I don't play that. You're not going to laugh at the color of my skin. You're going to laugh with me at our similarities, and some of our differences," he said. "But I'm not going to have you, because this is not the time in this United States of America, where you're going to laugh at what my people are suffering with."
The life of Blake's slain wife to be Movie of the Week
There's a made-for-television movie in the works on Robert Blake's murdered wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. As the murder trial against Blake proceeds, Dying for Stardom: The Absolutely Unbelievable True Story of Bonny Lee Bakley will tell the story of the woman's turbulent life--but it does not attempt to answer the question of who killed her. "Whether Robert Blake pulled the trigger or whether he had someone pull the trigger ... we leave that up to one's own determination," producer Larry Thompson, who managed Blake in the early 1980s, told the AP. Actor Steve Railsback, who played Charles Manson in the 1976 television drama Helter Skelter, will play Blake. Bakley's role hasn't been cast as yet, nor has an airdate been set.
Eric B. & Rakim album tapped as the best
Eric B. & Rakim's album Paid in Full tops Entertainment Weekly's list of the greatest all-time rap albums, Reuters reports. "Paid in Full made hip-hop a true art form, doing for rap what Bob Dylan did for rock in the mid-'60s," the magazine said of the 1987 album, which it praised for its technical intricacy and poetic metaphors. Coming in second was the 1989 album 3 Feet High and Rising by De La Soul, followed by Ready to Die by Notorious B.I.G. from 1994. Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C. make up the rest of the Top Five.
Jeunet fights for film's French credentials
Despite being set and filmed in France as well as employing French actors, extras and technicians, director Jean-Pierre Jeunet is in court to prove his latest film, A Very Long Engagement, is indeed French. Reuters reports Jeunet is battling a group of by rival producers who want to block his new film from French government subsidies because they say it received U.S. funding. "The producers are obsessed because there's a new studio and they don't want to share the cake," Jeunet said. "It's very cynical, very hypocritical." The film, which stars Amelie's Audrey Tautou, follows a woman who refuses to believe her fiancé was killed in World War I and embarks on a search to find him.
Kit Bowen contributed to this report.