Rapper/actor Ice Cube has opened up about his controversial decision not to cast the late Eazy-E's son as the hip-hop icon in his forthcoming N.W.A. biopic, insisting the role required an experienced actor with "a lot of range". Eazy-E's son, Eric Wright, Jr., auditioned for the Straight Outta Compton film job and recently admitted he was disappointed after movie bosses decided to cast newcomer Jason Mitchell as the younger version of his tragic father.
Now Ice Cube, who is serving as one of the project's producers, has explained the reasons behind the decision, insisting aspiring actor Wright, Jr. simply wasn't a good fit.
Speaking to Colorado radio station KS 107.5, Ice Cube says, "He (Wright, Jr.) is an up-and-coming actor trying to do it, but we needed somebody who was a little more polished to play Eazy, because he goes through a lot in his life. He goes from selling dope in Compton to fighting for his life in a hospital bed. So we needed to find an actor with a lot of range. And we just couldn't use just anybody. We gave him (Wright, Jr.) a shot, and it just didn't work out."
Wright, Jr. wasn't the only N.W.A. offspring snubbed for a role in the film - Dr. Dre's aspiring actor/rapper son Curtis Young was also passed over in favour of Corey Hawkins, although Ice Cube's kid, O'Shea Jackson, Jr., will play his dad onscreen.
Meanwhile, the remaining N.W.A. bandmates MC Ren and DJ Yella will be played by Aldis Hodge and Neil Brown, Jr., respectively.
F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the rise of the iconic California rap group and their split in 1991.
The biopic is scheduled for release next summer (15).
Eazy-E's son is feeling disappointed after he was left out of the cast of upcoming N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Lil' Eazy-E, real name Eric Wright, Jr., had hoped movie bosses would let him play his late father in the new movie about the legendary hip-hop group, but newcomer Jason Mitchell has been given the role instead.
The 30 year old tells TMZ.com he is disappointed with the decision, adding, "I am my father. I look like him. I sound like him."
Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson Jr. will portray his own father in the film, but Dr. Dre's son Curtis Young also faced disappointment when the role of his dad was given to actor Marcus Callender.
Wright, Jr., who was just 11 years old when his rapper father died from an AIDS-related illness in 1995, previously said of the movie role, "I'm the perfect man for the role. Who better to play him in the N.W.A. days? Like father, like son - no make-up needed."
Rap mogul Dr. Dre halted plans for his son to portray him on the big screen in N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton over fears he didn't have enough acting experience. F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the rise of the California rap group, which included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the late Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella, and their split in 1991.
The cast was announced last week (ends22Jun14) and includes O'Shea Jackson, Jr., playing his father Ice Cube, and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E.
Newcomer Marcus Callender landed the role of Dre, but the hip-hop veteran's aspiring actor/rapper son Curtis Young reveals he auditioned for the role first.
He says, "I actually tried out for the role, 'cause the casting company called me. But my father wanted somebody with more acting experience, and I haven't been acting for a long time, so I'm happy for the guy that got the role. It's one of those things where we want what's best for the movie and for the film. I had a lot of fans that were upset about it, but whatever's best for the film."
The biopic is set for release in 2015
Rapper Ja Rule has reignited his feud with 50 Cent in his new book. The hip-hop star's long-running war of words with the In Da Club hitmaker ran for 14 years, with the pair constantly trading shots against each other in interviews and songs until they publicly made amends in 2011,
But the Always on Time hitmaker has opened old wounds by detailing their feud in new memoir Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man, in which he claims 50 was "a crazed man on a mission to destroy me".
In the book, Ja Rule accuses 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, of giving police officers information on him, music producer Irv 'Gotti' Lorenzo and their record label Murder Inc. following a 2000 brawl, during which his rap rival was shot nine times. He believes Jackson's co-operation with the police lead to a money-laundering case against Lorenzo and his brother, who were eventually acquitted in 2005.
He writes, “When they (police) asked him who he thought had shot him, it would make sense that 50 would have said, 'Ja Rule, Irv Gotti and Murder Inc.'... He secretly led them through his recordings for the answers they were looking for."
Ja Rule also recounts psychical altercations with the rapper, including a 2000 recording studio feud.
He recalls, "I hit him with the crutch. We proceeded to whip his ass. I was putting in my work. 50 was crunched in the corner. I slammed the big tannoy speaker down on him."
His memoir is due to be released on 31 July (14).
50 Cent is celebrating a big Wednesday - his latest album has debuted in America's top five and his new TV drama has been picked up for a second season. The rapper, real name Curtis Jackson, co-created gritty TV series Power for U.S. cable network Starz, and produces the project, about a New York club boss who leads a double life as a drug kingpin.
The series, which stars The A-Team's Omari Hardwick, debuted on Saturday (07Jun14) and Starz bosses have already picked it up for a second season.
50 Cent, who makes a cameo in the series, already has big plans for season two, stating, "Viewers may be loving the start of season one now, but season two will blow them away."
Meanwhile, the rap star's new album Animal Ambition has debuted at five on the Billboard 200 chart.
Rapper 50 Cent has defended himself after famously botching the ceremonial first pitch at the New York Mets baseball game on Tuesday (27May14), insisting the ball "slipped" from his hand. The Candy Shop hitmaker, real name Curtis Jackson, took the mound at Citi Field at the start of the Mets' home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but his off-course throw was labelled "terrible" and "one of the worst first pitches of all time" by multiple sports commentators.
He laughed off the incident by joking after the game, "50 Cent is the best. Curtis Jackson, I don't know what's the matter with him!" and writing on Instagram.com, "I'm a hustler not a Damn ball player. LMAO (laughing my a** off)..."
However, 50 had another excuse on Friday (30May14) when he was quizzed about the embarrassing mishap during an appearance on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America.
Asked whether the poor pitch was a publicity stunt for his new album Animal Ambition, he stated, "Oh no, it slipped! It slipped out of my hand... I'm not a professional pitcher, I make music."
He then admitted the throw had been so bad, he was even teased about it by a police officer: "I actually got pulled over by New York City police... He pulled me over and I said, 'I got my licence, right?', because I was a little nervous when he pulled me over. I was, like, 'Oh no, what did I do?' and then he said, 'You know that pitch was terrible...'"
50 Cent's bad week continued during his GMA appearance in Central Park after technical difficulties blighted the start of his performance. The rapper hit the stage for a rendition of his new song Smoke with singer Trey Songz, but a faulty microphone caused him trouble for the first few seconds of the set.
However, the sound issue was quickly resolved and the 38 year old went to perform his hits In Da Club, Just A Lil Bit and Big Rich Town with singer Joe.
Rapper 50 Cent was left red-faced after he botched the ceremonial first pitch at the New York Mets game on Tuesday (27May14). The In Da Club hitmaker took the mound at Citi Field at the start of the Mets' home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but his off-course throw was labelled "terrible" and "one of the worst first pitches of all time" by multiple sports commentators.
50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, was caught on camera smiling and laughing following the bad pitch.
In an interview with SportsNet New York during the game, the Queens native joked, "50 Cent is the best. Curtis Jackson, I don't know what's the matter with him."
He also posted a clip of his pitch on his Instagram.com page with the caption, "I'm a hustler not a Damn ball player. LMAO (laughing my a** off)..."
Rapper 50 Cent has been slapped with legal action from a disgruntled video star amid allegations he defamed her via social media. Model Sally Ferreira, who appeared in 50's Big Rich Town promo, claims the In Da Club hitmaker, real name Curtis Jackson, cost her work in the music video industry after falsely accusing her of leaking behind-the-scenes photos of the pair in a bid to spread rumours suggesting they were dating last month (Mar14).
He then publicly insulted her in posts on his Instagram and Twitter.com blogs.
One offending post featured a snap of the two together, alongside the caption, "WARNING: Do not attempt to work with this thirsty (money-grabbing) video b**ch."
Ferreira, who is engaged to her boyfriend of nine years, insists the baseless allegations ruined her blossoming career, and has turned her into an object of public ridicule.
She filed suit in New York's Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday (24Apr14) and is demanding a multi-million dollar payout, citing extreme emotional distress.
In the papers, her lawyer states, "Mr. Jackson knew his posting would be widely circulated and published to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of individuals and entities."
50 Cent, whose Twitter blog has 7.4 million followers, deleted the posts in question hours after uploading them - an action Ferreira's lawyer claims was "in recognition of his wrongdoing".
The rap superstar has yet to respond to the lawsuit.
Rapper 50 Cent has been ordered to hand over $16 million (£10 million) to bosses at Sleek Audio relating to a failed deal to launch his own headphone line. The In Da Club hitmaker, real name Curtis Jackson, partnered with company executives in 2011 for his own Sleek by 50 line, but the collection never materialised and he filed suit the following year (12) over allegations they did not refund him his initial investment after the project fell through.
He then went on to launch an earphones line with rival firm SMS Audio, but the announcement did not sit well with Sleek chiefs, who went on to accuse the rapper of stealing the designs of the over-the-ear products they had been developing together for his SMS line.
The two parties entered arbitration talks, and now it's been revealed that a judge at the U.S. District Court in Miami, Florida has affirmed an award in Sleek Audio's favour, demanding 50 Cent pay them $11.7 million (£7.3 million) in damages, in addition to almost $4.5 million (£2.8 million) in legal fees.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is filled — and I mean jam-packed — with genre-bending, action-heavy, sportily tense and relentlessly sinuous, sky-high-concept and maniacally bonkers stuff. Polygonal mayhem that aims, and impressively so, to top the Marvel lot in ideas, deconstructing every thriller staple from government corruption to talking computers to odd couple agents gone rogue. But oddly enough, the moment in the Cap sequel that I find most arresting several weeks after seeing the film is our peaceful reunion with Steve Rogers, trotting merrily around the Washington Monument as the sun rises on our nation's capital.
The scene is shot from far overhead, a low pulse/high spirits Chris Evans reduced to a shapeless blur as he repeatedly (but politely!) laps fellow jogger and veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie)... and yet it might be the closest we feel to Cap throughout the movie.
The Winter Soldier has a lot to worry about in the delivery of its content. Managing a plot as ambitious and multifaceted as its own, with themes as grand as the scope of the American mentality — as represented by Steve Rogers, raised in the good old days of gee-golly-jingoism — it doesn't always have the faculties to devote to humanizing its central troupe. Cap isn't left hollow, but his battles with the dark cloud of contemporary skepticism play more like an intriguing Socratic discussion than an emotional arc. Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, a character who ran circles around her Avengers co-players in flavor, feels a bit shortchanged in that department here (in her closest thing to a starring role yet, no less).
Mackie's Falcon, a regular joe who is roped into the calamity thanks largely to his willingness to chat with a fellow runner — a rare skill, honestly — is less of a problem. He doesn't have much to do, but he does it all well enough. Dynamic though he may be, Mackie keeps things bridled as Cap's ad-hoc sidekick, playing up the along-for-the-ride shtick rather than going full (or even half) superhero. We might want more from him, knowing just how fun he can be, but it's a sating dose. The real hunger is for more in the way of Black Widow, Cap, and — perhaps most of all — the titular villain.
Still, these palpable holes pierce through a film that gets plenty right. As elegantly as Joe Johnston did the Spielberg thing back in 2011, Joe and Anthony Russo take on the ballots of post-innocence. They aren't afraid to get wild and weird, taking The Winter Soldier through valleys that feel unprecedented in superhero cinema. We're grateful for the invention here — for Robert Redford's buttoned-up Tom Clancy villain, for the directors' aggressive tunneling through a wide underworld of subterranean corruption, and especially for one scene in an army bunker that amounts to the most charmingly bats**t crazy reveal in any Marvel movie yet. We might be most grateful, though, for a new take on Nick Fury; here, the franchise gives Samuel L. Jackson his best material by a mile.
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But in the absence of definitive work done in our heroing couple, a pair rich in fibers but relegated to broad strokes and easy quips in this turn, most of it amounts to a fairly good spy thriller, not an ace-in-the-whole neo-superhero masterpiece... which, justly or otherwise, is what we've come to expect and demand from these things.
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