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When you hear the term “nip syncing,” an obviously PG-13 rated pun on “lip syncing,” what do you think of? Probably exactly is.
When you hear the term “nip syncing,” an obviously PG-13 rated pun on “lip syncing,” what do you think of? Probably exactly is.
Pressure is growing on Jay Z and Beyoncé to turn the short promotional film they released on Sunday into a real movie.
More than 1,000 fans have signed a petition at change.org calling for the celebrity couple to make a full-length version of a video produced to promote their joint summer tour. The clip feels like an action-packed movie trailer and features such Hollywood icons as Blake Lively, Jake Gyllenhaal and Sean Penn.
“We, the BeyHive and JAY Z fans would love for our two favorite artists to actually make a full length movie based off of the trailer,” the fans write in the lead-up to the petition, stressing that it would “sell millions.”
Beyoncé and Jay Z, who are featured in the short film shooting guns and running from the cops, launch their On the Run tour in Florida next month.
Paul McCartney has canceled the remainder of his Japanese tour, including a much awaited appearance at Tokyo’s Budokan.
The legendary musician has yet to recuperate from an unspecified virus that had already caused him to miss two concerts.
“I was really looking forward to playing in Japan again after we had such an amazing time here in November,” McCartney said in a statement, which mentioned that the cancellation was “unavoidable.”
The 71-year-old arrived in Japan on the back of a strenuous tour in South America, and had three concerts planned for the coming week.
One of them would have been his first appearance on the Budokan stage since the Beatles became the first pop band to play there in 1966 — a set of gigs that led the way for a host of famous Budokan live recordings by the likes of Bob Dylan, Deep Purple and Santana.
Monday night, five girlfriends gathered in the living room of my sixth-floor walk-up with the cheapest of white wines, for the rightest of reasons: to learn every love lesson The Bachelorette season premiere could possibly teach.
Nonbelievers might argue that it’s a poor idea to get dating advice from a television show that’s entirely based on the concept that it’s possible to find true love after serially dating 25 different visually alluring but vocationally ambiguous suitors in two months. To them I say, shut it and drink your Barefoot white zinfandel. Here are teachable moments, brought to you by Andi Dorfman and her band of merry men:
If you are ever wondering, “Should I get a haircut before this big date?” the answer is always yes. Always. I promise, you don’t look like an affable surfer guy. You look like the Geico caveman. Get a hold of your life.
Four bros (that’s almost 1/5 of contestants) came with long hair. Three were eliminated. An exception was made for the hairdresser not because his hair was edgy or sexy — it wasn’t, he had a mullet — but I think because he can keep the rest of the guys’ coifs in check for at least a few weeks. (We also never know when Andi is going to want to go ombré again.)
Still, as a general rule people tend to look better in person than they do in their photos. Andi’s matches looked underwhelming in their “Meet the Cast” headshots (ABC even had to add their shoe sizes — lots of 13s — to pique viewers’ interest), they were far cuter when they showed up “in person” at the rose ceremony. Even though, under reality-TV circumstances, “in person” actually means on an HDTV screen after being preened by a team of professional makeup artists, there’s still a lesson to be learned here. So stop dwelling on whether or not he’s photogenic, swipe right, and just meet that guy for coffee already.
If you’re going to use a pickup line, at least use a good pickup line. Even an urgent-care doctor couldn’t be saved after he said, “I think that you have a fever because you are looking pretty hot.” No.
Some people appreciate made-up words more than others. JJ says he is a pantsapreneur. He also called his journey on The Bachelorette a lovequest, which to the uninitiated means “a normal quest to find true love.” We would have dropped him. Andi let him stay. We think we’re right, and not just because it’s all about male short shorts, not pants, this season.
Never come to a first date empty handed. Even if your hand is filled with the gift of a stolen hotel lamp.
(This still is not a recommended gift.)
Talk of butt play does not make for a good first impression. Emil, who introduced himself as “anal with an m” shockingly did not stay around. And it wasn’t just because Andi doesn’t appreciate slant rhymes.
Be grateful that you’ve never had this conversation on a first date: “Tell me about your farm.” “It’s neat.”
When bringing up race, religion or politics, make sure you’re being sneaky about it. ABC isn’t know for being racially inclusive. So black suitor Marquel decided to go for the subtle, “I’m going to address race” route when he gave Andi a tub of cookies and instructed her over and over again to pay special attention to the black-and-white cookie. (Hope you enjoyed it, this will probably be the only racial “real talk” the entire season.)
What lessons did you learn?
Welcome to The Bachelorette, where the love is real, but the tans are not. This season, proven smart woman (she dumped Juan Pablo) and actual lawyer Andi Dorfman will be looking for love by dating 25 men simultaneously on national prime-time television, instead of skimming Tinder in the bathroom stall during work. Hide your daughters, because they don’t need to see this.
Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:
Spoiler alert: In this season of The Bachelorette, Andi’s search for love will be overshadowed by the fact that one of the men competing for her love, Eric Hill, passed away in a tragic accident after filming concluded. He didn’t wind up with Andi, but rumor (which is what we’re calling Reality Steve these days) has it that Eric gets fairly far into the process, which means we will be watching a vibrant young man in his last throes of life. And spending every Monday night with a ghost is just going to be depressing.
Most telling moment: Andi pulls her law-school diploma and Georgia Bar certificate off the wall of her office and heads off to find love on reality television. The message being that she may have a JD, but she doesn’t have an MRS. That said, it might bode well for the legal system if the nation’s DAs can’t simultaneously be contestants on The Bachelorette.
Best reminder that Desiree still exists: Much like The Highlander (ask your weird uncle, kiddos) there can be only one Bachelorette, but while it’s currently Andi’s reign, Desiree Hartsock is determined to remind the world that she still exists and is planning to wed rhyming poet and fleece aficionado Chris Siegfried on national television. But before she can be feted, she must be properly product-placed and cross-promoted. To wit, weird Suave ads.
Biggest time waster: For some reason, a solid 10 minutes of the evening is spent with Andi and her sister giggling and trying on dresses to impress the men. They settle on a low-cut gold sparkly number, which Andi promptly changes out of before meeting the herd of eligible breeders. Good use of airtime, ABC.
First out of the limo: A man named Marcus in a suit with no tie and serious lack of hair gel. What the heck kind of season is this?
Best job: According to his chyron, JJ is a “pantspreneur.” Naturally he’s wearing a bow tie and brought Andi a sample of his wares, which are, of course, pants.
First goofy music treatment: Cody, a personal trainer with a popped collar on his sportcoat, a Vaselined smile and Tintin hair was the first to get the Music of Impending Stupidity. He showed up pushing the limo, which he claimed broke down, but was just an excuse to show off his neck girth.
Worst mnemonic device ever: Emil, a helicopter pilot, who tells Andi that the best way to remember his name is this: “It’s anal with an M.” He may have better luck with that line on Grindr.
Worst prop: Brett, a hairstylist with a semimullet and a whole heap of other bad ideas, takes his dressing tips from Bill Nye and advice from his mom, who told him to never arrive empty-handed. So he brought Andi a lamp from the hotel. Chalk this one up to: it seemed like a good idea at the time.
The men: There’s an opera singer with a poorly tied tie, a strangely endearing guy who gives her his phone number and a slightly crazy-eyed former pro baseball player, who also lives in Atlanta, so Andi will be able to get a regular restraining order (and not a plus-size one) when the relationship goes south. There’s Tasos with a faux hawk and a lock in his pocket and Steven who is “stoked” to be here. Rudie an attorney and amateur scrapbooker who spent some time in his craft cubicle and made her a legal contract out of construction paper. There’s Jason, a doctor who diagnoses Andi with a fever ’cause she’s smoking hot. Also in the mix is Eric, an explorer who gives her some dolls given to him by a young girl in Peru. He’s sweet, charming and, sadly, not long for this world. Sniffle.
Biggest lie: Andi walks into the house with a cocktail in hand and a First Impression Rose on a silver platter and tells the gathered men that she believes in the process and knows that the process works. She is convinced that the love of her life is standing in that house. Or so she says until it’s 4 a.m. ex post Fantasy Suite and he’s saying “Ees O.K., ees O.K.” over and over again.
Best use of transfats: Marquel woos Andi with a cookie-tasting flight. He purposefully hands her a black-and-white cookie, which she enjoys despite the undercurrents of symbolism.
Least thrilling drama: Crazy-eyed Chris — one of Bachelorette Emily’s discarded options — shows up at the mansion with a bouquet of roses, a dash of derring-do and a soupçon of desperation. He is left to stew in the staging area while Chris Harrison goes to talk to Andi about the party crasher. Andi says no to the man lurking in the bushes, because she is smart, already has her hands full with 25 guys, and thanks to her job as a DA can probably spot the mentally unstable at a distance. Chris Harrison tells Chris to leave, so he does. Pretty flaccid drama there, Bachelorette.
Biggest missed opportunity: “Tell me about the family farm,” says Andi to Chris, before immediately drifting off and daydreaming of the penal code at the first mention of the fields of corn and soy. Sadly, surprisingly, FarmersOnly.com didn’t parachute in a rapid response team to airlift that guy right out of there and deposit him in a sprawling field in close proximity to a handsome and stalwart farmer’s daughter who would be thrilled to talk about corn and soy crops.
First Impression Rose: Andi creeps into the room to steal the First Impression Rose off the table and hands
The Rose Ceremony: JJ, the pantspreneur gets the first rose. Cue the violins. Eric gets the second rose. Marquel goes third. Then a bunch of men in suits: Craig, pseudo-faux-mohawk Tazos, pro baseball player Josh M., Brian, Bradley the opera singer, Polish speaker Marcus, social-media manager Andrew, some other guy named Carl, a man named Ron, some guy named Chris, Dylan who dresses like an extra from American Psycho, Brett the hairstylist, a guy named Patrick and rounding it out is some dude named Nick S.
The longest goodbye: Strangely, Anal With an M didn’t get a rose, even though it seems unlikely that Andi forgot his name. Also leaving is Rudie, the attorney, who is going home despite the fact “everyone in his life” said he and Andi “were going to get married and have kids.” Jason, the physician with Bachelor Ben’s hairstyle, takes a moment to reflect on his shortcomings, which are mostly just his haircut. Josh B. curses a lot because he was going to meet his wife and instead ended up just embarrassing the bleep out of himself. How will we explain this to his parents? Whom he lives with?
Bachelorette milestone: Andi didn’t say “fairytale” once. It’s very confusing.
“It’s all up to you now, Blazkowicz.” You’ll get that a lot in MachineGames’ lurching gonzo-solemn “What if the Nazis won?” shooter, Wolfenstein: The New Order.
As if you needed reminding. It’s been up to William “B.J.” Blazkowicz since 1992, and four or five games running. Blazkowicz, who you play as once more in The New Order, is that slab of Polish-American hero who looked like Rambo ret-conned into The Dirty Dozen, fighting Nazis bare- (and barrel-) chested, wearing a red bandanna and mad-as-hell mien on all those old Wolfenstein 3D box covers. He was id Software’s marble-jawed hero, the patriotic revenge fantasy cliché, a narrative blank check players cashed in bullets, and an unstoppable convention of the genre.
But not in The New Order, where he’s traded a swashbuckler’s insouciance for beatnik brooding, as prone to spontaneous acts of near-poetry (in a voice that’s half-groan, half-whisper) as he is to plummet impossible distances, only to rise as if from a fall off a couch.
It’s weird at first, those misplaced introspective moments punctuating the game’s early over the top action sequences, including one where you leap absurdly from one plane’s wingtip to another. They play between the thunderclaps of arcing Tesla cannons on monstrous tripod automatons stalking shell-blitzed trenches you’ll clamber through before roping (and one-arm shooting) your way up faux-medieval fortress walls. They frame the screams of dozens of Nazi sturmtruppen shot, beheaded and occasionally blown to viscera-riddled smithereens as you infiltrate your Mengele-inspired adversary’s death citadel. And they’ll bookend a ghastly choice you’ll have to make early on that alters the narrative indelibly.
But then that head-fake Tarantino intro gives way to Philip Dick (though a high castle darkly) as you’re plucked from already alternate-versing 1946 and deposited in a wildly divergent 1960s Europe. The Nazis won. America surrendered. Resistance movements barely exist. Cities like London have been razed and re-sculpted from the footings up, filled with colossal post-art deco structures that wouldn’t be out of place in Half-Life 2‘s dystopian City 17. Big Ben survives, but dwarfed by Nazi architecture, the horror amplified by the juxtaposition. Blazkowicz’s grave soliloquizing comes into sober focus as the game flirts unexpectedly with the sort of unironic narrative depth you’d expect more from something like Band of Brothers than a game inspired by a glorified 1990s render-technology showcase built around an excuse to point a weapon at other people and cause them to die horribly.
Into this strange new world you’ll pour warehouses of bullets and retries, still G.I. Joe (if by way of Lieutenant Aldo Raine) at heart. Make no mistake, The New Order‘s gunplay still sums in kill counts, headshots and stylish clandestine dispatches — the original Castle Wolfenstein‘s stealth vibe returns, reimagined — quantified in stat screens by maneuver and weapon type. It’s still a series of finite story-linked levels filled with revenge fantasy kill-or-be-killed sprees that’ll end, once the credits roll, with an enemy body count in the thousands. You’ll still spend inordinate amounts of time hoovering up health packs and ammunition and armor-bolstering scraps of metal scattered about battlefields like glasses of champagne at a posh soirée.
That’s not the sign of a developer designing willy-nilly, too sloppy or untrained to commit: at times The New Order feels as calculated and observant as BioShock, if in the end, less ambitious. When it swerves from camp to cool cogitation, it does so knowingly, the latter moments unfurling during interludes spent wandering a resistance base chatting up other resistance members, your patriotic gusto threatened by a mirror MachineGames keeps holding up. It’s that unexpected attention to The New Order‘s world-building that makes this single-player-only game more than just a shooting gallery with a few new tricks — the sort of camaraderie and reflection in adversity, steeped in creeping dread and philosophical exposition, that made something like The Matrix more than just an expo for bullet time.
Not that the game’s perfect. Snatching up consumables can be confusing, your crosshairs indicating the presence of health packs or armor shards without highlighting them, stealing precious extra seconds as you’re forced to sort through blinking item dumps. The game’s polyvalent new laser weapon gains a godlike one-shot targeting mode towards the end that makes some of the final battles, even on the hardest difficulty setting, a bit too easy. And “perks,” the game’s roleplaying-lite nod to Wolfenstein RPG, which give you new abilities along certain play-style tracks (like stealth or demolition) if you perform prerequisite actions, tend toward the superfluous: I finished the game on the highest difficulty setting without bothering to pursue a single one.
And for all it subverts, The New Order still feels slaved to genre conventions: the Nazi in the hallway outside your room will point his gun at the hapless asylum patient infinitely, his bullet forever unfired until you press through the doorway, tripping the algorithmic trigger and forcing his hand. Item deployment within a level often spoils climactic encounters, the sudden appearance of health packs, armor and piles of grenades portending a deluge of bullets. And mini-boss enemies so hard-fought early on will eventually appear in twos or reinforced by underlings, like an iterative museum of horrors — yesterday’s main course served as tomorrow’s hors d’oeuvres.
There’s a flip side to The New Order‘s dalliance with moral depth (and concentration camps, and suicide bombings) as well. At one point early on, I had to approach from behind a seated Nazi commander speaking to his superior by phone. If you pause to listen to the conversation before knifing him, you learn, among other things, that he has children, that his wife is pregnant and that he’s hoping for a promotion. And then you’re required to kill him, because progress is impossible if you don’t (the alternative being alerting and letting him kill you, or quitting the game and calling that that). It’s a false choice, a morally suspect scene in which you’re asked to identify with your all-too-human victim before ending his existence. But you’re given no other choice. It’s kill or quit. And gamers won’t quit. They never do.
4 out of 5
MORE: The History of Video Game Consoles – Full
Wrestling is the most solitary and elemental of sports: one man grappling another in intimate combat. Ice hockey, meanwhile, is pure teamwork, especially as played by the Red Army team in its dominant decades before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It follows that Foxcatcher, about a wrestler, his brother and their coach, is an investigation of men less comfortable in speaking than in expressing themselves through physical activity that can turn violent — and that the documentary Red Army, focusing on defenseman Viacheslav “Slava” Fetisov, brims with camaraderie: high spirits and a few verbal high sticks.
Thanks to its star cast of Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo and its director Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball), Foxcatcher was among the most eagerly anticipated selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Red Army, from first-timer Gabe Polsky, is simply one of the best.
On Jan. 26, 1996, John Éleuthère du Pont, scion of the gunpowder and chemicals fortune, shot and killed the wrestler Dave Schultz. Du Pont, 57, ran a wrestling school called Team Foxcatcher at his Newtown Square, Pa., estate, where Dave, 36, served as a coach. Dave’s brother Mark, 35, also lived and practiced at the estate. They are the only two brothers in U.S. wrestling history to win both Olympic and World championships.
Why did John kill Dave, whom he had treated as a friend and close colleague? Du Pont’s friends were baffled by a gentle man’s heinous eruption. At John’s trial, neither the prosecution nor the defense provided a reason. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but was convicted of third-degree murder, and died in 2010 in the Laurel Highlands State Correctional Facility in Somerset, Pa. He was 72.
Foxcatcher, from a screenplay by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, also declines to spell out a rationale. As Miller said at today’s press conference, his directorial style “is not so much telling a story as observing a story.” The movie, which saves the true story’s famous, fatal act of violence for the climax, is a murder mystery in which the killer’s motive remains a mystery. That makes Foxcatcher, for all its closeups of the main trio, a chilly, distant view of an enigma festering into an atrocity.
Truman Capote, as captured in Miller’s first feature by Philip Seymour Hoffman, was profligately articulate. Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s General Manager played in Moneyball by Brad Pitt, communicated clearly in words, stats and caroming body English. The Foxcatcher men have no such eloquence; Bennett describes their mode of discourse as “repressed male noncommunication.” John du Pont (Carell) may have been bred to reticence; raising one’s voice on the Foxcatcher estate was simply not done. As for the Schultzes, they articulate their fury, grudges and superb skills in their sport.
(READ: Richard Corliss’s tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman)
A marvelous early scene shows Dave (Ruffalo) leading Mark (Tatum) in a warmup exercise — a series of embraces, pats, grips and flips that eventually draws blood — and all to make Dave a more formidable wrestler. Beautifully choreographed and performed, and revealing emotional vectors that the rest of the film withholds, the scene in the wrestling circle is equally a fraternal fight and a love match.
John (Carell) wants into that circle. An accomplished ornithologist who authored several academic studies on the birds of the South Pacific, he chafes in the imperious shadow of his mother (a wonderfully haughty Vanessa Redgrave) and the 32,000 trophies and ribbons she has amassed as an equestrienne and stable owner. John considers horses “dumb. They eat and shit. That’s all they do.” His mother’s take on wrestling: “A low sport.” Perhaps eager to compete in the sports arena, he founds Team Foxcatcher — his own stable, with manflesh replacing horseflesh — and collects wrestlers dependent on his largesse. (Wrestling and boxing are the only two Olympic sports requiring amateur standing of its participants. The athletes must take side jobs or find a patron.)
“I have a deep love for the sport of wrestling,” John tells Mark when he flies the young man East for an interview. Dave, with a wife (Sienna Miller) and young child, wants to stay put; and Mark feels stranded without his guide and sparring partner. But John dangles this promise: “Without your brother you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.” The movie portrays a rivalry between John and Dave, to be Mark’s mentors. Dave had played that role since he and his brothers were the children of a fractured family. Dave eventually brings his family to Foxcatcher, where he trains other wrestlers and, in the process, wrests from John the role of father figure.
Tatum’s Mark is a gentle galoot, so lacking in introspection that he seems not to understand his resentment as being John’s pawn; if he had taken revenge on his host, the killing would be as understandable as John’s shooting of Dave. And Ruffalo is fine as the more gregarious Schultz. Carell gives the big performance — in startle quotient, not in sweeping gestures or fuming arias, which he avoids.
(READ: Steven James Snyder on Channing Tatum in Magic Mike)
The nice-guy correspondent for The Daily Show, who graduated to star comedy roles in Evan Almighty and The 40 Year Old Virgin, and as the voice of Gru in the Despicable Me animated franchise, Carell has a melancholy suitable for lovable losers and, here, a lonely aristocrat. His delicate, creepy work occasionally obscured by a large prosthetic nose, he plays John as gray and graceless, an inert entity. John has repressed so many of his family anxieties, as well as his urges to watch muscular men wrestle for his pleasure, that he is nearly dead, emotionally, by the middle of the movie. Killing Mark may be the one way John has to prove he’s still alive.
Really, though, we have to guess at most of this, because Foxcatcher is almost as withholding as its characters. True to his directorial creed, Miller has acutely observed the collision of its three men’s temperaments. It remains for the viewer to tell, or guess at, the full story. —R.C.
More than any form of filmmaking, the documentary demands star quality — a charismatic force at its center to drive home the political or human message. Polsky, director of Red Army, found his star in Slava Fetisov, part of the legendary Green Line of the U.S.S.R. ice hockey team. During his 13 seasons, the Red Army squad won seven World Championships (out of a possible 10) and two Olympic gold medals, losing only in 1980 to the U.S. team in the “Miracle on Ice” semifinal game. Defying the Soviet hierarchy, he left Russia for North American to play for the National Hockey League, spurring an exodus of other Soviet and European stars to the NHL. Many of his fellow Russians joined him on the Detroit Red Wings, which in 1997 and 1998 won the Stanley Cup.
Those are just Fetisov’s statistics. The man is even more impressive: a dominant presence off the ice and in front of Polsky’s camera, whether declaring his political independence, misting up at the memory of his first coach or, when the mood strikes him, giving his director a middle-finger salute. At the evening screening of Red Army, Cannes artistic director Thierry Frémaux praised Fetisov as “this incredible actor, this character, this champion!” He is all of that in this exuberant, affecting film portrait, which could escape the niche of documentaries and become a popular attraction on the order of Searching for Sugar Man. The film has similar heart, humor and unbelievable-but-true narrative twists.
In the NHL, star players often skate freely toward the goal, a one-man show. In Soviet hockey, “The man with the puck is the servant of the other skaters.” Their coaches stressed teamwork, as developed in a decade of junior-league training, until the intricate weaving of the Green Line skaters approached the choreography of the Bolshoi Ballet or the chess mastery of Garry Kasparov. (One NHL announcer calls them “the Soviet Symphony.”) The long years of excruciating practice forged a comradeship, in the best sense, of Fetisov and his mates. Surviving the 1980 Lake Placid humiliation, and weathering disagreements that seemed like betrayals, the Green Liners were a band of brothers. Some of them reunited with Fetisov in the NHL years later, after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Fetisov, who speaks excellent English from his decade in North America, is still a Russian at heart. He returned there, at the urging of Vladimir Putin served as Minister of Sport from 2002 to 2008. Fetisov deflects some of Polsky’s questions by saying, “I’m a politician now.” As a Soviet skater, he was also a political and social force: he and his team lifted the U.S.S.R. at a time when the West was the best at everything but hockey. As one Russian commentator notes, “The story of hockey is the story of our country.”
Ice hockey is not America’s story, and at the moment Russia is not the most popular foreign power. But this playful, poignant film presents a human story that transcends decades, borders and ideologies. —M.C.
Hip-hop bible XXL recently announced their 2014 Freshman Class of 12 up-and-coming rappers. The annual list featured incredible talent like Chance the Rapper, Jon Connor and Ty Dollar $ign. One thing the list didn’t have, though? Women.
In light of that, it seemed like a good time to revisit the subject of female MCs — particularly so because female-fronted hip hop is on the cusp of a resurgence. Not only does Nicki Minaj have her third studio album slated to drop by the end of the year — and the femcee promises a return to her fiery hip-hop roots — but rapper Iggy Azalea has found mainstream success in her collaborations with both Ariana Grande and Charli XCX. Artists like Angel Haze, Jean Grae and Azealia Banks are all working hard, too, to make it in the male-dominated world of hip-hop, and they aren’t alone.
Here are seven incredible female rappers that you should be listening to right now:
Taliyah Smith a.k.a. Lee Mazin started making waves with her Lovelee mixtape, which she followed up with last year’s In My Own Lane. Her efforts behind the mic garnered her back-to-back wins for “Female Artist of the Year” at the Philadelphia Hip-Hop Awards (2011 and 2012). She’s opened for some of the biggest names in rap, including Talib Kweli, DMX and Young Jeezy, and now has become the first female rapper signed to Meek Mill’s Dream Chasers Records.
Listen: “Yesterday” Ft Lil Snupe
Sasha Go Hard
Yaneisha Franklin a.k.a. Sasha Go Hard started rapping at 11 years old, hitting the Internet jackpot with her self-produced single “Why They Mad.” Her affiliation with Chief Keef’s Chicago-based GBE crew shows in her hard-edged raps and monstrous sound, but she’s got a style all her own. She’s earned herself some big name fans along the way, and they’re now collaborating with her, including Diplo: he produced her Round 3 mixtape, which features guest appearances by both Le1f and Kreayshawn.
Listen: “Trouble” feat. Tink (another rising rapper discussed here):
In the middle of Chance the Rapper’s Acid Rap track “Lost” was a memorable verse by an up-and-coming Chicago rapper named Noname Gypsy. The 22-year-old’s real name is Fatimah Warner and despite her nom de guerre, she’s making a very big name for herself with her laidback flow and poetic lyrics. Think MC Lyte meets Lauryn Hill by way of Gwendolyn Brooks. While her debut mixtape Telefone hasn’t been released yet, she has the seasoned poise of a veteran.
Listen: “Paradise” Feat. Queen SheCago
Producer-to-the-stars Timbaland has adopted Queens rapper Nyemiah Supreme as his latest protégé. When the man behind Aaliyah, Justin Timberlake and some of Beyoncé’s biggest hits turns his attentions on you, the pressure’s on — and if their inaugural collaboration “Rock & Roll” is any indication, Supreme is up to the challenge. Her EP There Can Be More Than 1, executive produced by Timbaland, shows the rapper bringing the heat while keeping it cool.
Listen: Rock and Roll ft. Timbaland
Tiffany Foxx came up as the protégé of Lil Kim, on Kim’s International Rock Star Records, but the St. Louis emcee has been rapping her way out of Kim’s shadow with her hard knocking rhymes. Her latest record “Young N Thuggin” shows Foxx holding her own against collaborators like Pusha T and Young Thug with her relentless flow and determined demeanor. Plus, hanging out with Miley Cyrus can’t hurt an up-and-comer’s career.
Listen: “Twisted” Feat. Lil Kim
Rapsody is one of the hardest working rappers in the business, cranking out five mixtapes in the last three years. Her She Got Game mixtape (download it here), featured collaborations with Chance the Rapper, Common, Raekwon, Mac Miller and more, showcasing her impressive vocals skills. The North Carolina native, whose real name is Marlanna Evans, has a soulful style that garners her well-earned comparisons to Lauryn Hill with her melodic flow, laconic beats and irrepressible rhymes.
Listen: “Dark Nights”
While Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have finally made people pay attention to the Northwest’s hip-hop scene, groups like Common Market, Nacho Picasso, Blue Scholars and Moor Gangs have all been working in the city’s rap trenches for years. In their ranks is Gifted Gab, a Seattle rapper, with a throwback flow and a way with words. She has made no secret of the fact that Queen Latifah is her biggest inspiration — in fact, she named her debut album Queen La’Chiefah.
Listen: “Dead Wrong”
It’s right there in the name: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
But, as this new video from the Academy — the folks who bring you the Oscars — makes clear, you don’t need to see the pictures in order to enjoy a movie. The Academy (AMPAS) has just launched a new video series of documentary-style looks at some little-known aspects of movie-making. This particular video, one of the first to kick off the series, explains what it’s like to go to the movies if you’re unable to see what’s on the screen.
It’s an experience that the sighted might not ever consider. After all, even those who can’t see describe going to the movies as seeing or watching a movie. But, as Tommy Edison of BlindFilmCritic.com explains in this video, the images are a relatively small fraction of what makes up a movie.
To fill in the gaps where images are necessary to explain the story, some theaters and films offer video description, an audio track on which the visual elements are described out loud during breaks in the dialogue. Around 2:10 in the video above, you can experience what it’s like to “watch” a movie when you can’t see anything — and, though the visual elements are certainly exciting, it’s easy to understand how you could enjoy it without them.
“I enjoy [movies] just like you do,” Edison concludes, “and I love them and I always have and I always will.”