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Critically Acclaimed Documentary “Mr. SOUL!” Premieres August 1st on HBO Max

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Executive Producers Chaz Ebert, record executive and film producer Ron Gillyard, producer and director Stan Lathan, Hillman Grad Productions producing partner Rishi Rajani, Run&Shoot Filmworks CEO Stephanie T. Rance, actor and producer Blair Underwood and Emmy award-winning writer, producer and Hillman Grad Productions CEO, Lena Waithe are proud to announce the critically acclaimed documentary Mr. SOUL! will premiere on HBO Max on August 1, 2021. The film, produced and directed by Melissa Haizlip, won Best First Documentary Feature at the 2020 Critics Choice Documentary Awards, and Outstanding Writing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture) at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards. “Mr. SOUL!” was also shortlisted at the 93rd Academy Awards in the category of Best Original Song, for “Show Me Your Soul” by Grammy Award-winning composer Robert Glasper and Grammy Award-winning singer Lalah Hathaway.(Watch Trailer)

Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Mr. SOUL! From 1968 to 1973, the public television variety show, SOUL!, guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered and uncompromising celebration of music, politics, dance, Black literature, and poetry. SOUL! was the first national variety show to provide expanded images of African Americans on television, shifting the gaze from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. With participants’ recollections and myriad archival clips, Mr. SOUL! captures a critical moment in our nation’s cultural rise, whose impact continues to resonate across generations and cultures. 

Mr.SOUL! celebrates rich cultural moments with astonishing footage of interviews and  rare live performances by  icons and luminaries such as: Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Nikki Giovanni, James Baldwin, Cicely Tyson, Harry Belafonte, Muhammad Ali, The Last Poets, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sidney Poitier, Mavis Staples, Black Ivory, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Maya Angelou, Billy Preston, Toni Morrison, Bill Withers, Sonia Sanchez, Wilson Pickett, Kool & the Gang, Roberta Flack, Kathleen Cleaver, Amiri Baraka, Carmen de Lavallade, George Faison, Melba Moore, Max Roach,  and a 16-year-old Arsenio Hall making his television debut performing magic tricks. 

Mr. SOUL! made its world premiere at the TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL where audiences embraced it with standing ovations and sold-out screenings. Mr. SOUL! received 33 nominations and won 21 awards including 14 film festival awards. Mr. SOUL! screened at over 50 film festivals around the world, including HOT DOCS, AFI Docs, BFI London, True/False, Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Urbanworld, Los Angeles Film Festival and more. Mr. SOUL!  was nominated for three NAACP Image Awards, and won for Outstanding Writing in a Documentary (Television or Motion Picture). In 2020, Mr. SOUL! was nominated for five Critics Choice Documentary Awards including Best Documentary Feature, and won the award for Best First Documentary Feature. The film won the International Documentary Association IDA Doc Award for Best Music Documentary,  the Finalist Award for the Inaugural Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film, the Audience Award at both AFI Docs and at Woodstock Film Festival. Mr. SOUL! was nominated for a Cinema Eye Honors for Outstanding Debut Feature. The film made its PBS premiere on Independent Lens during Black History Month 2021

“Making the film helped us illuminate the groundbreaking cultural work of Ellis Haizlip, the man behind one of the most successful and socially significant, Black-produced television shows in U.S. history,” said director Melissa Haizlip. “We’re truly grateful for the opportunity to both introduce and reintroduce the SOUL! series, the music, and Ellis Haizlip to the world. ‘SOUL!’ is the greatest show you’ve never heard of. And up until now, my uncle Ellis Haizlip has been a bit of an unsung hero. We’re beyond honored to have Mr. SOUL! premiere on HBO Max on August 1st. It’s both thrilling and historic for our film to be part of such dynamic programming, a platform making a commitment to amplifying diverse stories and voices, a mandate which we need now, more than ever. We hope our film and the music, artists and creators it celebrates will help to center Black excellence and Black joy. It’s so exciting to see audiences discovering Ellis Haizlip as this hidden figure and unsung hero. Creating this love letter to Black culture helps to elevate all of the significant contributions African Americans and people of color have made to the culture and to the nation.”

“After seeing Melissa’s doc, I knew I wanted everyone to see it. This documentary showcases one of our Queer icons who never received his just due. He put Black people center stage and didn’t care if it was a huge success. He just wanted to leave an impact, and that he did,” says Lena Waithe.

The much-anticipated Mr. SOUL! soundtrack will be available on Hillman Grad Records / Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc. The first single off the soundtrack will be “Show Me Your Soul,” performed by Lalah Hathaway, and written by Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Muhammad Ayers and Melissa Haizlip.

For more information on Mr. SOUL!, please visit www.mrsoulmovie.com and @mrsoulthemovie on Instagram and Twitter.

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Meghan Trainor Releases Remix Of Her Worldwide Smash “Made You Look feat. Kim Petras

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Meghan Trainor Releases Remix Of Her Worldwide Smash “Made You Look feat. Kim Petras

Today, GRAMMY® Award-winning, global superstar Meghan Trainor recharges, re-energizes, and revamps her global smash “Made You Look” with a brand new Official Remix featuring Kim Petras. Listen to “Made You Look (Feat. Kim Petras)” HERE. The original highlighted her acclaimed new album, Takin’ It Back, out now. Listen to Takin’ It Back HERE.

About the track, Petras commented, “I had ‘Made You Look’ stuck in my head for months. It’s just so catchy and I felt like the song was like a warm hug. So I loved it right away, and then when I got asked to jump on it, I was really, really excited. I think Meghan is such a great pop songwriter, so it was an incredible experience. I’ve never worked with an artist who wanted to track me and comp my vocals and do it all together. She really is like a little angel and such a treasure and deserves everything that’s coming her way with the song and I just feel so excited and honored to be a part of it. We collaborated in a really special way that I won’t forget.

This notably marks the first collaboration between Trainor and rising pop powerhouse Petras. Together, they lock into a bouncy call-and-response as Petras urges “Don’t be shy, just put your hands on me, as Trainor’s towering runs ring out. It adds a whole new dimension to the fan favorite.

On the collaboration, Trainor gushes, “Kim is an icon. I have been a fan for a very long time and I am so excited to have her on ‘Made You Look.’ We had such a fun time in the studio together and she added the perfect energy to the song. She is a queen and I cannot wait for everyone to hear her voice on this song! She really brought it to a whole new level.”

“Made You Look” has exploded as a runaway hit and a major moment for Trainor. It has tallied over 353 million global streams. Simultaneously, the music video has clocked north of 87 million YouTube views. At radio, it continues to hold strong in the Top 5 at Pop.

She continues to breathe new life into the track. In addition to the Joel Corry Remix, she capped off the holidays with “Made You Look (A Cappella).It gathered 6.2 million YouTube views on the accompanying video featuring friends Sri, Scott Hoying, Elyse Myers, and Chris Olsen.

So far, the song has soundtracked over 4 million TikTok videos and 308K YouTube Shorts. Apple Music touted it at #1 on its A LIST POP Playlist, and Spotify placed it on Today’s Top Hits Presents Best Hit Songs of 2022 and the Best Pop Songs of 2022. Billboard applauded it as “inescapable, and Entertainment Tonight chatted with her about the track.

It sets the stage for more to come from Meghan Trainor in 2023!

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Rae Sremmurd Drops New Track “Sucka Or Something”

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Clearly intent on making waves in 2023, iconic rap duo Rae Sremmurd releases “Sucka or Something.” Listen HERE via Eardrummer Records/Interscope Records. As usual, the Mississippi brothers employ their dizzying lyricism over innovative production to craft an unforgettable earworm. The track follows their New Year’s release “Torpedo” and is  accompanied by a vibrant D.I.Y.-themed music video. Watch it HERE.
“How you gonna try to play me like a sucka or something?” Swae Lee ponders over a bombastic beat. “How you gonna try to play me when I know what’s up? Feel like I’m 6’ 5” ‘cause the money is up.” Laid-back yet typically larger-than-life, “Sucka or Something” is a reminder that even though the duo has done it all—they still haven’t lost any of their creativity or fire that made them superstars.
 
The casual ambition of the song is reflected in the dynamic video. The grainy footage showcases the brothers’ performance skills, but it’s an eclectic, collaged concoction that ebbs and flows with the mellow track. The deftly edited imagery conveys Rae Sremmurd’sunique bond and nods at their humble beginnings. Watch the visual HERE.
Rae Sremmurd has established themselves as the preeminent melodicists in hip-hop, racking up hit singles from the moment they landed with 2014’s “No Flex Zone.”
The duo’s first two albums, 2015’s SremmLife and the following year’s SremmLife 2, were each certified Platinum, and the latter spawned the group’s first No. 1 hit, the Gucci Mane-assisted “Black Beatles.” SR3MM, from 2018, was groundbreaking in its own way, a triple-disc effort that saw each brother get his own LP’s worth of space to work solo, before tying them back together.
Most recently, Rae Sremmurd was announced as the headliner for this year’s NFL Pro Bowl taking place on February 5th at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The entire 7 minute performance will be televised across ESPN, ABC, and Disney XD. Fans can also catch the duo hitting the Coachella stage this April for the first time in 7 years.
 
Rae Sremmurd – “Sucka or Something”
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Amber Rose says she’s done dating, wants to be single for the rest of her life

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Amber Rose is no longer taking a dip in the dating pool. (more…)

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Ari Lennox Releases Video For Waste My Time

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Ari Lennox Releases Video For Waste My Time
Ari Lennox turns to therapy to solve her relationship questions in the new music video for her single “Waste My Time,” out today via Dreamville/Interscope Records. In the video, directed by Val Vega, the soul and R&B superstar ponders why she keeps falling for the same guys before the scene transforms to a steamy series of sets – Ari glistening in a pool, seducing in a gold and pink cloud, and embraced in a steamy romance. Does she get the answers she needs? Join Ari’s therapy journey and watch the full “Waste My Time” video HERE.
The “Waste My Time” video arrives on a big day for Ari Lennox’s career, as her age/sex/locationtour kicks off tonight at the famed House of Blues in Las Vegas. The 34-date trek runs through March 29 and hits several major markets – including concerts in New York City, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles and more –before it concludes with two shows in her hometown of Washington, D.C. Purchase your tickets for the age/sex/location Tour at www.arilennox.com
 
age/sex/location is Ari Lennox’s second studio album and was released in September to spectacular reviews. Pitchfork praised the album as “a bountiful exploration of what it truly means to be grown and sexy,” while Rolling Stone confirmed that the star “has delivered her best work to date” and VIBE featured the album on its list of the 25 Best R&B Albums of 2022. Standout tracks include “Queen Space,” with Summer Walker and “POF,” which President Obama placed at No. 3 on his annual favorite music series for 2022, and of course, the Jermaine Dupri and Bryan-Michael Cox-produced hit “Pressure.” The RIAA gold-certified hit has soared to over 640 million streams, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult R&B Airplay and became her first solo Hot 100 single. “Waste My Time” extends Ari’s hitmaking streak at radio, with its No. 10 spot on Adult R&B Airplay. Thanks to those hits and more fan favorites, age/sex/location has already raced past 200 million streams in the U.S..
If that weren’t enough, Ari has continued to reap massive wins in recent months. In November, Ari delivered electric performances at both the American Music Awards and the Soul Train Awards, where she was nominated for six trophies, including Album of the Year and Song of the Year. In December, she became the first-ever digital cover for HuffPost, with the publication proudly declaring the First Lady of Dreamville “a student of her craft and proof that R&B ain’t dead.”
age/sex/location is another win in Ari Lennox’s book, following her acclaimed 2019 debut, Shea Butter Baby, now officially certified gold by the RIAA. The project, now with over 1.5 billion global streams, spawned the RIAA platinum-certified title track, featuring Dreamville label head and marquee artist J. Cole, gold-certified singles “BMO” and “Whipped Cream,” and “Up Late.” Critical recognition capped off the debut era with nominations for a Grammy Award (for her contribution to Dreamville’s album, Revenge of the Dreamers III), three 2019 Soul Train Awards, and two 2020 NAACP Awards.
Ari Lennox – age/sex/location eAlbum
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Randy Gonzalez, dad of TikTok duo Enkyboys, dead at 35

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Randy Gonzalez passed away on Wednesday. (more…)

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Chris Brown shows off ‘department store’ he built to house his clothes

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Chris Brown is no stranger to the fashion industry. He’s already developed a clothing line, Black Pyramid. Now, he’s decided to sell some more swag. Yesterday (Jan. 24), the Grammy-winning artist went on his Instagram Story to inform his followers that he’s built a department store near the comfort of his home. (more…)

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