Beyonce is providing 2,000 lucky students in the U.S. with brand new schools supplies through her charitable campaign BeyGOOD.
The Drunk in Love hitmaker has selected underfunded schools in a number of cities on America's East Coast, including New York City, Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore in Maryland.
Backpacks filled with pencils, notebooks, folders and more back-to-school items will be handed out during "pep rallies for good" at the chosen schools. Fans can also purchase the special edition backpacks online and all proceeds will benefit the 2014 Back to School Programme, which helps at-risk children.
Beyonce and her husband Jay Z have spent the summer supporting BeyGOOD and his Shawn Carter Foundation as $1 (70p) from every ticket purchased from their recently wrapped On the Run tour went towards supporting students.
The couple's tour has grossed more than $100 million (£59 million), according to concert promoter Live Nation.
Jay Z's mum has followed her rapper son into the restaurant business by opening her own eatery in Newark, New Jersey. Gloria Carter celebrated the launch of Diamondz N Da Ruff with her famous son and daughter-in-law, Beyonce, on 26 July (14) with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a champagne toast inside the establishment, according to TMZ.com.
This isn't the first business venture for Carter - she also serves as the president of the 99 Problems hitmaker's college scholarship charity, the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.
Jay Z opened the first location in his sports lounge and restaurant franchise, The 40/40 Club, in New York in 2003 and has since expanded with venues at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia.
Hip-hop mogul Jay Z has come under fire from officials at America's Major League Lacrosse (MLL) organisation after dismissing the sport as "soft" in a new song. The Empire State of Mind hitmaker, real name Shawn Carter, makes the comment in his new DJ Khaled collaboration They Don't Love You No More, in which he takes verbal jabs at an unnamed adversary - believed to be Drake - who hails from Canada, where Lacrosse is a popular activity.
In one line, he quips, "Haters wanna ball, let me tighten up my drawstring/Wrong sport, boy, you know you're as soft as a Lacrosse team", and the lyrics have angered professional lacrosse players and supporters.
Now a representative for the MLL has hit back at the rapper and dared him to try his hand at the contact sport.
A statement issued by MLL officials to MTV.com reads: "Lacrosse is often called the fastest sport on two feet. Players are on the field dodging and shooting balls at over 100 miles per hour.
"With that said, we don't think Jay Z knows what he's talking about when he calls Lacrosse 'soft'. I can guarantee you it is anything but a 'soft' sport. Mr. Carter would not last one minute on a Lacrosse field during a match and he is more than welcome to come to any of our games and try."
Jay Z and Drake have been exchanging barbs in public in recent months, after the Started From The Bottom rapper criticised the superstar for making "at least four art references" in his recent releases.
Jay fired back on the remix to Jay Electronica's track We Made It, rapping, "Sorry Mrs. Drizzy for so much art talk/Silly me rappin' 'bout s**t that I really bought", prompting Drake to respond by suggesting the former Brooklyn Nets minority owner was "somewhere eating a fondue plate" during the first-round play-off game between the New York-based basketball team and Drake's Toronto Raptors earlier this month (Apr14).
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Rapper Jay Z has raised $1 million (GBP660,600) for charity through his partnership with U.S. luxury retailer Barney's. The Empire State of Mind hitmaker was criticised in October (13) for moving forward with his clothing line at the store after two black shoppers accused employees of racially profiling them.
Jay Z worked with bosses at the New York retailer to improve security procedures and the move has proved to be a lucrative one, as he has raised over $1 million for his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, according to the New York Daily News.
Hip-hop mogul Jay Z has taken his love of good cigars to the next level by launching his own premium tobacco product. The Empire State of Mind hitmaker has teamed up with smoking aficionados at Cohiba to create the Cohiba Comador, which boasts dried leaves from "the most revered Caribbean and Central American growing regions" and a Connecticut Havana wrapper.
Jay Z announced his new venture on his official Facebook.com page on Monday (16Dec13), in a post which reads: "Introducing Comador Cigar: a super premium cigar developed in partnership between Cohiba Red Dot and Shawn 'JAY Z' Carter two years in-the-making."
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Rap superstar Jay Z is moving ahead with his designer collection deal with U.S. retailer Barneys despite the furore surrounding the store's alleged racial profiling policy. The high-end chain has been at the centre of a scandal over claims two young black shoppers were detained by cops after making expensive purchases at a New York City branch and quizzed as to how they could afford to pay for the items.
Campaigners called on the rapper to pull plans to release a curated designer collection for Barneys in time for the festive season, with more than 55,000 fans signing a petition calling on him to cut ties with the store.
He has now announced he will move forward with the project on the condition he is involved with an investigation into the racism claims.
A statement from the star reads, "While I await the findings of the Attorney General's Office, I have agreed to move forward with the launch of (the) collection under the condition that I have a leadership role and seat on a council specifically convened to deal with the issue of racial profiling.
"I am in a unique position to use my voice to affect change to this disturbing issue. The easy position would have been to walk away and leave policy making to others hoping that someone addresses the problem. I will not leave the outcome to others. I will take this into my own hands with full power to recommend, review and revise policies and guidelines moving forward. I am choosing to take this head on."
All proceeds from the sales of the collection will now go to his Shawn Carter Foundation, rather than the original 25 per cent.
Rapper-turned-sports agent Jay Z is reportedly under investigation by Major League Baseball Players' Association officials for giving New York Yankees star Robinson Cano a pricey watch as a gift. The organisation's leaders are keen to determine whether or not the 99 Problems hitmaker violated the union's agent regulations by giving the second baseman the $34,000 (GBP22,600) timepiece from his own limited edition Shawn Carter Classic Fusion Hublot range as a 31st birthday gift last month (Oct13).
They fear the rapper may have broken a rule that stipulates, "No Player Agent or Applicant shall provide, cause to be provided or promise to provide, any money or any other thing of value to any player, or any person related to or associated with such player, the purpose of which is to induce or encourage such player to use or continue to use any person's or firm's services as a Player Agent, Representative, or Draft Advisor.'
Cano joined Jay Z's Roc Nation sports group in April (13).
According to the MLBPA rules, any gift over $500 (GBP330) must be disclosed to the union in writing, and as a result, Jay Z could face discipline for his actions, reports BleacherReport.com.
Bosses at U.S. retailer Barneys have issued an apology to Jay Z after he was dragged into a race row raging around the store's alleged profiling policy. The high-end chain has been at the centre of a scandal over claims two young black shoppers were detained by cops after making expensive purchases at a New York City branch.
The pair allege they were aggressively quizzed about how they could afford to buy their items, and have since filed suit against the store for discrimination.
The row has erupted as Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, plans to release a curated designer collection for Barneys in time for the festive season, with more than 24,000 fans signing a petition calling on him to cut ties with the store.
CEO Mark Lee has now spoken of his regret that the rapper has been embroiled in the drama, saying, "We deeply regret that these recent events have distracted from the great work of the Shawn Carter Foundation, and we offer our sincere apologies to Mister Carter."
Profits from Jay Z's line are set to go to charity.
The 99 Problems hitmaker has insisted he will not pull the project until he learns all of the facts surrounding the customers' claims.