Hip Hop News

Lifetime announces winter 2022 thriller lineup; 'Step' director Amanda Lipitz releases new documentary, 'Found'

Courtesy of Lifetime

Lifetime has tapped an all-star cast for their winter 2022 film lineup.

The network announced they're developing three new thrillers for next year's holiday season. Those films include Single Black Female starring Raven Goodwin and Amber Riley as new best friends dealing with dark secrets; Line Sisters, a sorority sister drama headlined by LeToya Luckett and Kierra Sheard-Kelly; and Vanished: Searching for My Sister, which features Tatyana Ali in a dual role of twin sisters. Official release dates for the films have yet to be announced.

In other news, Amanda Lipitz, the award-winning director behind 2017's Step, a documentary about a high school step team in inner-city Baltimore, has released a new documentary called Found. The feature follows three adopted American teenage girls who discover that they're blood-related cousins and travel back to China together in search of answers. This is a personal story for Lipitz, who is aunt of one of the three adopted girls, Chloe Lipitz. Found is now available to stream on Netflix.

Finally, Paramount+ has released the official trailer to their upcoming The Game reboot. As previously noted, the 10-episode series will now take place in Las Vegas and will star many of the original cast members in their original roles. This includes Wendy Raquel Robinson as sports agent Tasha Mack, Hosea Chanchez as former star quarterback Malik Wright, and Pooch Hall as former footballer Derwin Davis. The new series is said to center on a "modern-day examination of Black culture through the prism of pro football." Executive-produced by Mara Brock Akil, The Game launches on Paramount+ Thursday, November 11.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

R. Kelly child pornography case set to begin August 1, 2022 in Chicago

R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on September 17, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois; Antonio Perez - Pool via Getty Images

After being convicted on nine criminal counts by a federal jury in New York City, including racketeering, sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of a child, R. Kelly will go on trial again -- this time in Chicago, to face additional charges.

The 54-year-old singer is set to go to court August 1, 2022 in a federal case that includes child pornography, obstruction of justice and sexual abuse charges, according to ABC Chicago affiliate WLS-TV.

Kelly appeared virtually in court Wednesday morning with lawyer Steve Greenberg, who will represent him in the Chicago case. Greenberg revealed that his client was briefly under suicide watch following last month’s conviction.

Kelly will be sentenced on May 4, 2022 for his New York City conviction. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, but could receive up to life in prison.

The three-time Grammy winner is also facing four separate indictments alleging sexual abuse in state court in Chicago, and a child prostitution charge in Minnesota.

As previously reported, two weeks ago, R. Kelly's two YouTube channels were deactivated. "Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warrant penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm," YouTube's head of legal, Nicole Alston, wrote in a memo, according to Bloomberg.com.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Issa Rae reveals why she decided to share her wedding photos online

Merie W. Wallace/HBO

Issa Rae is opening up about her wedding to Louis Diame and why she decided to share some of those moments with the world.

During an interview on the Tamron Hall Show, the Insecure creator and star revealed that the only reason she posted photos from her wedding day was to get ahead of the story.

"I worked with Vera Wang, who were really great, and they wanted to post the photo and at the time, I was like, 'OK, yeah, no problem.' And then later, you know, I was like, 'Oh, they're gonna post the photo before me.' Let me tell it my way, in the best way I know how and that's the only reason that I let it go," she explained of the July Instagram post. "I wanted to release the photo my way first without having them release it."

While Insecure star's marriage may have come as a shock to fans, she shared that it wasn't a surprise to friends and family. And the actress, writer and producer gushed that her wedding, overall, was "just a beautiful experience."

"People tell you that it goes by fast, and they're right," Rae admitted. "But my thing was, it was a party. At the end of the day, it was just a big party. And it was a lot of fun. And I'm really blessed, I feel so blessed to be surrounded by people who took the time out to just come and celebrate and that's something that I'll cherish for the rest of my life."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Drake notches his 36th week atop the 'Billboard' Artist 100 chart

Rich Fury/Getty Images for dcp

Drake is back on top of the Billboard Artist 100, thanks to his number-one album Certified Lover Boy.

This now marks Drizzy's 36th week leading the chart, the second-most out of any other artist.  The act he has to beat is Taylor Swift, who boasts 49 weeks at the top.

The Artist 100 chart, which has only been around for seven years, ranks musical acts based on interaction through social media, streaming, radio play and sales.

The "What's Next" artist also dominates several other charts this week, including the Billboard 200 albums chart for a fourth non-consecutive week.  CLB is the rapper's third album to maintain the top spot a full month, following Scorpion and Views, which were respectively released in 2018 and 2016.

Views has spent the most weeks at number one, with 13, while Scorpion touts five.

Aside from the Billboard 200, Drake is also dominating the Hot 100, with "Way 2 Sexy" leading the pack at number five. 

In all, seven of Drake's songs are featured on the Artist 100 chart this week, the most out of any other artist. Behind "Way 2 Sexy" is "Knife Talk," featuring 21 Savage and Project Pat at number 14; "Girls Want Girls," featuring Lil Baby, at 22; "Fair Trade" with Travis Scott at 39; "No Friends in the Industry" in 74th; "Champagne Party" at 77; and "In the Bible," which features Lil Durk and Giveon, at number 83.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'Country Yutes': Usain Bolt says he's ready to be the next DJ Khaled

Courtesy of SprintRay

Track-and-field star Usain Bolt has accomplished quite a bit in his 35 years. In addition to winning eight Olympic gold medals and holding world records in 100 meters, the 200 meters and the 4 × 100-meter relay, the Jamaican-born Bolt recently dropped an album, Country Yutes, which landed in the top 10 of Billboard's reggae album charts.

Bolt, who's partnered with the SprintRay Foundation to help offer critical dental care to those in Jamaica, says his interest in music has always been very "serious."

"I've loved music all my life," Bolt tells ABC Audio. "If you followed my career, you know that I was dancing [and] always having a good time...So now that I've put in the work, I think people have really seen that the quality of music that I put out with the album Country Yutes is good."

In fact, Bolt says that the success of his album has even led to "people... reaching out" about potential collaborations. Yet even with the great feedback, the "fastest man in the world" says he already has a specific vision of what he wants to do. 

"I definitely want to be like a DJ Khaled," Bolt says, also noting that producer Swizz Beatz has served as a "massive" inspiration. "I enjoy seeing [Khaled] work and I follow him and I see the energy that he has -- the passion that he works with and puts into his music."

Although Bolt says he's already met with Khaled in person, he hopes he can eventually "sit down with him and pick his brain, and [figure out what] it takes to get to the level...That's something that I look forward to."

To learn more about SprintRay and its partnership with Bolt, visit SprintRay.com.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

CFDA to honor Zendaya with the 2021 Fashion Icon award

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Zendaya will be adding another prestigious honor to her trophy case next month when the 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards name her this year's fashion icon.

The council announced on Tuesday that the Dune star's multiple iconic red carpet looks, as well as her entrepreneurship within the industry, inspired them to recognize her with the 2021 Fashion Icon award.

While highlighting some of their favorite outfits the Emmy winner rocked on the red carpet in a photo collage, the council also took note of her stylist, Law Roach, and saluted his efforts.

Zendaya's new award places her in good company, as she now joins fellow recipients Beyoncé, Rihanna, Lady GagaPharrellJennifer Lopez and Naomi Campbell.  

The CFDA announced another award recipient on Tuesday, honoring Queen's Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy with their newest honor, Face of the Year.

The 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards will be held November 10 at New York City's Seagram Building.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Dionne Warwick ponders spelling of Saweetie's stage name

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Dionne Warwick is back at it again on Twitter and this time, she has a question for Saweetie.

The legendary sainger, who previously made headlines for wondering how The Weeknd and Chance the Rapper got their stage names, is now pondering how the "Back to the Streets" rapper got hers. 

"Why is that young lady’s name spelled 'Saweetie' and not 'Sweetie'?" Warwick wrote on Tuesday, adding a follow-up tweet, "This new generation is so creative and fun. 'Saweetie' is fun to say!"

The 80-year-old "I Say a Little Prayer" singer was met with a slew of responses, with some asking her to answer the same question given that her full name is Marie Dionne Warrick.

Eventually, though, fans provided the answer she wanted, with one user sharing a screenshot of a quote from an interview Saweetie did with Tidal that explained she got the nickname from her grandmother, but decided to spell it differently.

"Everybody had their nicknames on MySpace so I was like 'OK, I like Sweetie, but I don't like the word 'sweetie,' so I'm going to spell it this way," she shared. 

After getting the answer, Warwick thanked her followers for the help by tweeting, "Thank you all for answering my question about @Saweetie. I do like the name. I was just curious about the spelling."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

'The Wendy Williams Show' to continue with guest hosts into November

Lars Niki/Getty Images for New York Women in Film & Television

Fans will have to wait even longer to welcome Wendy Williams back to her purple chair.

On Tuesday, the Wendy Williams Show official Instagram announced two new guests hosts will hold down the fort through the first week of November.

Comedian and writer Whitney Cummings will take over from October 25 to the 29 and, after that, former The View co-host Sherri Shepherd will host through November 5.

"Nobody can ever replace Wendy but we will do what we can to fill in so she can come back stronger than ever," wrote Cummings in the Instagram announcement comments. "She's gone so hard for so long and as much as I miss seeing her every day, just imagine how hilarious she’s gonna be after some time to take care of herself and have some quiet time to think!"

Williams was originally expected to return on September 20 to kick off the premiere of the show's 13th season, but that return was pushed back several times due to her continued health issues, including testing positive for a breakthrough case of COVID-19.

The show returned October 18 with Leah Remini as its first guest host, and it was also announced that Williams is "making progress but experiencing serious complications as a direct result of Graves' Disease and her thyroid condition. It has been determined that more time is needed before she is able to return to her live hosting duties."

Mayo Clinic defines Graves' disease as a disorder of the immune system that is a common cause of hyperthyroidism, or an overproduction of thyroid hormones. Side effects attributed to the illness are anxiety, hand tremors, palpitations, fatigue and other disruptive symptoms.


A post shared by Wendy Williams (@wendyshow)


A post shared by Wendy Williams (@wendyshow)

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Tinashe loves being independent: "It's been really fulfilling to make my own creative decisions"

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

After releasing three albums on RCA Records, Tinashe now records for her own label, and she loves the freedom.

"Right now, the thing that I'm most proud of in my career is being an independent artist," the 28-year-old singer/actress tells Forbes. "It's been really fulfilling to make my own creative decisions."

In 2019, Tinashe released her fourth studio album, Songs for You, on Tinashe Music, and her latest album, 333, which dropped in August, is also on her own label.

During her career, the versatile entertainer from Lexington, Kentucky, has worked with numerous stars, including Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Travis Scott and Usher.

Meanwhile, she says being featured on Britney Spears' 2016 single "Slumber Party" was both a blessing and a curse.

"She was my hero as a child, so for something like that to come to fruition so early on in my career was really amazing and humbling and inspiring," she notes.

However, the record company wanted her to become a pop artist, and Tinashe decided to break free and determine her own destiny.

"It's been empowering and liberating because I do have so much more control," she says.

This week, the "2 On" singer launched her first shoe collection, in partnership with ShoeDazzle.

"I actually put on my vision board at the beginning of the year that I wanted a shoe line this year!" she laughs. "It was the perfect collaboration. We now have this variety of boots and booties that I love that will work through winter, plus a bunch of tour-friendly heels you can dance in but still have glamor and drama."

Tinashe currently is touring in support of her 333 album . Her next performance is Thursday in Seattle, and her final show will be December 30 in Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Prince Michael Jackson to host annual 'Thriller' costume party at Jackson family estate

David Becker/Getty Images

Prince Michael Jackson is carrying on the historic legacy of his late father by hosting the annual Thriller Night Halloween costume party at the Jackson family estate.

Michael's youngest son has teamed with Taj Jackson, son of Tito Jackson, to design an immersive haunted house for the event on October 29th at the Jackson Hayvenhurst mansion in Encino, California.

“I’m so excited to to host our event this year; although we had a virtual event with Omarion in 2020, there’s magic on the Hayvenhurst property and it’s so great to be able to share it with everyone after we’ve been cooped up for almost a year," Prince Michael says in a statement. "Every year we try to out do ourselves and this year I think we’ve done just that!"

For the first time, guests will enjoy live performance during Thriller Night. Chris Tucker will deliver a stand-up comedy show, and two-time Grammy winner Elijah Blake will sing.

There will also be a Legacy Room featuring Michael Jackson's most memorable costumes from both the "Thriller" and "Ghost" videos, and an exhibit showcasing of some of his awards, including the plaque for selling 100 million units of the landmark Thriller album.

Thriller Night will benefit Prince Michael Jackson's non-profit organization, The Heal Los Angeles Foundation. Tickets can be purchased on the foundation's website.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Blair Underwood joins Showtime's 'Three Women'; Netflix rounds out cast for George C. Wolfe's 'Rustin'


Blair Underwood has joined his next major project.

According to Variety, Underwood, along with Lola Kirke, have been added to the cast of Showtime's Three Women. They join DeWanda Wise, Shailene Woodley, Betty Gilpin and Ravi Patel, who were previously announced. Based on Lisa Taddeo's book of the same name, the series centers on "three women completely overturning their lives." Underwood will play Richard, a well-known chef who is "blindsided when his wife enters a sexual relationship with another man." A release date has yet to be set for Three Women.

In other news, Netflix has rounded out the cast for the George C. Wolfe-directed film Rustin. Deadline has learned that Aml Ameen, CCH Pounder, Michael Potts, Bill Irwin, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Gus Halper, Johnny Ramey, Carra Patterson and Adrienne Warren have all been added to the upcoming feature. They join Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman and Audra McDonald, who were previously announced. The film follows Domingo as Bayard Rustin, a gay civil-rights activist who "overcame an onslaught of obstacles, and altered the course of American history by organizing the 1963 March on Washington." A release date for Rustin has not been scheduled.

Finally, ABFF Ventures has announced that the 2021 American Black Film Festival will open its milestone 25th year with Warner Bros. Pictures' highly anticipated film King Richard. As previously noted, the film follows Will Smith as Richard Williams, the ambitious father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. Unlike previous years, ABFF will be available as a worldwide digital experience from November 3 to November 28 via its online platform ABFF PLAY. King Richard will be available by special invitation to a limited audience. To register for ABFF, visit ABFF.com.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Beyoncé and JAY-Z enjoy a Tiffany's "Date Night"

Mason Poole

Beyoncé and JAY-Z are continuing their Tiffany's ABOUT LOVE campaign starring in a new short film, titled, "Date Night" featuring a cameo appearance by their nine-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy.

Inspired by the New York City backseat taxi scenes from the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's, the video begins with Queen Bey sitting in the back of a Rolls Royce, wearing an Ailsa diamond ring of over 10 carats, as well as a pair of Ribbon Fan earrings featuring diamonds of over six carats. Her husband joins her, wearing the Bird on a Rock brooch with a platinum and 18k gold bird perched on a morganite gemstone of over 44 carats.

After eating pizza in the car, a bottle of Armand de Brignac -- the brand JAY owns -- is delivered to them. They sip champagne, and Beyoncé holds a yellow daisy in her hand, playing a game of "he loves me, he loves me not." Jay ends the game, saying, "He loves you," and the video ends with their passionate kiss.

As a part of the ABOUT LOVE campaign, Tiffany has partnered with Beyoncé's BeyGOOD Foundation, and JAY-Z's Shawn Carter Foundation, to create the Tiffany & Co. ABOUT LOVE Scholarship Program. Tiffany & Co. pledged $2 million in scholarship funding for students in the arts and creative fields at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Fifty students have received scholarships at Lincoln University, Norfolk State University, Bennett College, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Central State University.


A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

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Jamie Foxx reveals why he’ll never get married

ABC/Paula Lobo

The "cookie cutter" lifestyle has never appealed to Jamie Foxx, and that includes marriage.

"The two-point-five children, the wood paneling on the station wagon and the cottage, I didn't think that was for me," Foxx told E! News on Monday, and he thinks his relationship with daughters Corrine Foxx, 27, and Annalise Bishop, 12, is better off because of it.

"A lot of those marriages ended up not doing well as the kids got older. Unfortunately, we saw the kids get fractured from their families," said Foxx, pointing to some of his friends' failed unions. "Us, we actually came together more. So I don't know what that is, I just know that it is different but it's a whole lot of love."

The 53-year-old Soul star adds, "The pressure of being married, I don't think we can have a conversation about it. I just keep moving."

Foxx also revealed that he keeps his family close to him and revealed that both Corinne and Annalise helped him write his memoir, Act Like You Got Some Sense.  In return, he served as the inspiration behind Corrine's Netflix series, Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!

"It was by design to have my whole family living with me, because I don’t want them living away from my circumstance. I want them to see and share the things that I go through," he says. "There’s a lot of hard work, there’s a lot of disappointment, but there’s a lot of things to celebrate.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Michael B. Jordan and Serena Williams to award $1 million to one lucky HBCU student

Tommaso Boddi/FilmMagic

Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan and tennis legend Serena Williams are paying it forward to one lucky entrepreneur to the tune of one million dollars.

AfroTech reports that the two stars have teamed up to  assist students and graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs, by launching a Startup Pitch Competition, which is aimed to inspire future business leaders who may not have equal access to opportunity.

Jordan's Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic competition invites HBCU alumni and students to submit their business proposals and innovative ideas for a chance to win a million-dollar jackpot.  The competition is now open and is accepting applications.

The actor partnered with Williams' Serena Ventures as well as MaC Venture Capital, two investment firms, to get the contest off the ground and "will work together to identify the most promising early-stage startup companies founded by current HBCU students or alumni."

Three finalists will be chosen, who will then have to make a final pitch to the two firms, as well as Harlem Capital and Cake Ventures, who are also serving as advisors to the competition.

The $1 million winner will be announced December 18 during TNT's broadcast of an HBCU college basketball showcase featuring four institutions: Howard University, Hampton University, North Carolina A&T University and North Carolina Central University.

The showcase, called the Invesco QQQ Legacy Classic Basketball Showcase Finals, is a double header between Hampton vs NC Central and Howard vs NC A&T.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Billy Porter shares the purpose behind his debut memoir 'Unprotected: A Memoir'

Photo credit: Shavonne Wong

Billy Porter is sharing his life with the world with his deeply personal memoir, Unprotected.

In the book, Porter candidly speaks about being bullied, surviving sexual abuse at the hands of his stepfather, and making arts his safe haven. He says the purpose of the memoir wasn't to bring anyone down, but rather to serve as an outlet for healing.

"It was about how do I write about it from my perspective without exposing other people in sort of a possible negative light," Porter tells ABC Audio. "Like that was not something that I ever wanted this to be about. This was not for me. This was not a book about shaming anybody or calling anybody out or revenge or, you know, some sort of tell-all. It's not that."

Instead, the Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner says the book was written so others could learn from his experiences and know that there was hope. Porter believes that his biggest challenge wasn't just sharing his  journey and perspective on race, sexuality, art and healing -- it was finding the best way to tell it without judgment.

"What I was met with oftentimes was how do I tell this story with compassion and grace," he adds.

Unprotected: A Memoir is now available for purchase.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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