All Articles Tagged "2pac"

Hip Hop Menu Gone Wrong: DC Restaurant Plans Odd Biggie, 2Pac Tribute Dinner

December 23rd, 2014 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This

Mike Isabella, owner of Graffiato, former "Top Chef" contestant. Via Facebook.

Mike Isabella, owner of Graffiato, former “Top Chef” contestant. Via Facebook.

Hmm. Not sure what to make of this.

An Italian-inspired restaurant in Washington, DC is planning to host a hip-hop dinner to honor slain rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac in February. For the menu, which hit Twitter earlier this week, Graffiato is serving “thug rice,” which is cuddle fish ink risotto, crawfish, crispy clams, cauliflower. There’s also “blood money sausage” and “Chocolate Chip Blunts” on the three-course meal.

After Graffiato, chef Mike Isabella, a former Top Chef contestant, heard of the criticism of the menu, he told DCist the menu is simply a “work in progress,” reports The Grio. The menu has since been taken down with the only mention of it in this press release on the Graffiato website.

The dinner is to take place Feb. 2 and cost $65 per person.

“Restaurateur Mike Isabella gave Y&H the following statement via his publicist, who says he’s not available for an interview: ‘The Graffiato dinner on February 2 is a celebration of hip hop from two of the greatest artists of the 90s. The menu is still a work in progress, and dishes will be inspired by songs, lyrics and classic east and west coast dishes’,” reports Washington City Paper.

From The Mic To On-Screen: Celebrity Singers Turned Actors

June 12th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
Share to Twitter Email This

June is Black Music Month and to pay homage to the melodic contributions of some of our favorite artists we’re taking a look at a few of our favorite celebrity singers turned actors who make it tough to decide which role we like them in best. For more on the artists here, head over to XFINITY From The Wiz to Dreamgirls, check out great films with even better soundtracks, plus interviews, music videos and more all month long.

Singers Turned Actors


Jamie Foxx

When he put on a dress, blonde wig, fishnet stockings and pursed up his lips as In Living Color’s ugly Wanda, he stole the show. The character helped launchJamie Foxx’s career in Hollywood and he became so popular, he earned a show of his own. But before he became a household name as a bona fide actor, Foxx’s first love was singing. He began playing the piano at five years old and after he graduated from high school, the Texas native went to college on a scholarship to study classical music and composition. Foxx brought home an Oscar for his role playing legendary singer Ray Charles in the film Ray and he’s also released four albums dating all the way back to 1994.

Be Aware: Celebrity Men Accused Of Sexual Assault

April 14th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
Share to Twitter Email This

While many celebrities work on maintaining a positive image in the public, the careers of these stars took a hit after they were accused of rape or sexual assault.

Celebrity Men Accused of Rape


Mike Tyson

During the height of his career, Mike Tyson’s dominance in the boxing ring was interrupted with a jail stint. 18-year-old Desiree Washington accused Iron Mike of raping her in a hotel room after calling her up and inviting her to a party. Even though Tyson insisted he was innocent, a jury found him guilty after just ten hours of deliberation. Sentenced to six years in prison, Tyson served three before he was paroled. A year after his release, Tyson won the WBC title after defeating Frank Bruno.

Nobody Does It Like Hype: The 15 Best Hype Williams Music Videos

March 25th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
Share to Twitter Email This

Hype Williams has been making music videos since the early 90’s. With budgets that rivaled independent movies, Williams has worked with everyone in the game from The Notorious B.I.G. to Beyonce. Here’s a look at some of the 15 best Hype Williams music videos

The Notorious B.I.G. – “Big Poppa”

The Notorious B.I.G. made waves with his first single “Juicy” but it was his second single “Big Poppa” that really helped put the Brooklyn emcee on the map. Set inside of a brownstone with a club-type atmosphere, Biggie said his rhymes while party-goers danced and others gambled over a game of dice. There were plenty of cameos in the video as well, including Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Busta Rhymes, Heavy D and of course Sean “Puffy” Combs, who was there in a hot tub full of women along with his then-girlfriend Misa Hylton-Brim.

John Singleton Signs On To Direct Tupac Biopic

March 4th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Share to Twitter Email This

Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Famed director John Singleton has just signed on to re-write, direct and produce the long-awaited biopic about the life of slain rapper Tupac Shakur by Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, Deadline reports.

The Academy Award nominated director will work alongside Ed Gonzales and Jeremy Haft to revise originally optioned the script. Production is set to begin this summer. Singleton actually had the opportunity to work with Tupac  three years prior to his untimely death in 1996 on “Poetic Justice,” which starred the deceased rapper and Janet Jackson.

“Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with,” said Singleton. “His passing deeply affected my life. As well as countless people in this world … His life story is as important to my generation.”

Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, who has acted as a guardian to her son’s musical legacy since his passing, is also onboard with the project. She will be standing in as en executive producer. Naturally, this gives the film access to Pac’s extensive’ musical library. So far no names have been dropped regarding who will be cast to play the controversial rapper. As always, we will keep you posted as further details emerge surrounding this project.

Do you think you’d be interested in checking out the Tupac biopic? Are there any actors out there that you think would make a good Tupac?

Holler! New Tupac Musical Heading To Broadway

January 10th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This

Image Source:

Image Source:

There are musical stage productions about Michael Jackson and The Beatles so why not about one of hip hop’s greatest MCs, 2Pac?

Actually, the Tupac Shakur musical has been in the works for some time. But now it finally has an opening date — on Broadway, no less. Inspired by the late rapper’s music, Holler If Ya Hear Me will officially kick off its Broadway run on June 19th at the Palace Theater in New York, reports Business Insider. Preview performances for the program will begin on May 26th.

The production has an $8 million budget and will feature songs from throughout the rap icon’s career, including such classics as”California Love,” “Keep Ya Head Up,” and, naturally, the title song. “However, unlike the long-delayed biopic that begins shooting this year, the story itself will not be directly based on Shakur’s life or his drive-by shooting death in 1996,” reports Business Insider.

Instead, the script (penned by Todd Kreidler) is centered around two childhood friends living in a poverty-stricken Midwestern industrial city, struggling to realize their dreams. According the show’s producers, Holler is a tale of “friendship, family, revenge, change and hope.”

Kenny Leon, who earned a Tony award nomination for 2010’s Fences, will direct.  Shakur’s mother, Afeni, will produce along with television producer Eric L. Gold and theater producer Shin Chun-soo.

According to Vanity Fair, the musical could save Broadway, which has seen a drop in attendance. According to the Broadway League, end-of-season statistics for the 2012 – 2013 season (May 28, 2012-May 26, 2013) revealed Broadway shows yielded $1.14 billion in grosses, and total attendances was 11.6 million. “The 2012 – 2013 Broadway season concluded with virtually flat grosses (-0.1%) and down in attendance (-6.2%), on par with a decrease in playing weeks (-6.0%),” reports the League.

So Holler could lure a new crowd and boost attendance overall. Besides offering great music, there is the “likelihood that a show like this will probably draw in a younger, more diverse crowd than, say, a revival of Oklahoma! would,” reports the magazine, which adds the musical will be “a great way to bring in new audiences. It’s also an opportunity for that older, more homogenous audience to, hopefully, see something a little different. And the show would in theory provide some big casting opportunities for minority actors who are all too often pushed to the sidelines in big musicals. Really, this is a win-win-win situation.”

Will you go see Holler?

15 Of The Saddest Music Videos Ever Made

October 28th, 2013 - By Iva Anthony
Share to Twitter Email This

Sometimes a director will create a music video so raw and emotional we can’t help but think “darn you” as we reach for tissues and wipe away tears after a three-to-five minute emotional roller coaster of a video. That’s precisely the reaction we had when it comes to the items in this list. Here are 15 of the saddest music videos ever made.

Aaron Hall Album Cover pf

Aaron Hall – “I Miss You”

Aaron Hall first started out with the group Guy, but after Teddy Riley decided to take his New Jack Swing to Blackstreet, Hall forged on with a solo career. His biggest hit by himself is the tender love song “I Miss You.” In the video, Hall is over the moon that his lady is expecting his child He showers her with love and affection but his world is turned upside down when she starts having complications from the pregnancy. He ruses her to the hospital but it’s too late.

Not Everybody Is The Next __: Musical Comparisons We Have To Stop Making

April 19th, 2013 - By Lauren Carter
Share to Twitter Email This

Michael Jackson Thriller

Any time you’re trying to describe an artist, there’s always a temptation to compare them to someone else. It’s easier to say “Keyshia Cole is like Mary J. Blige” than to say “Keyshia Cole makes raw, soul-infused R&B filled with themes of pain and personal transformation.” I get that. But sometimes the comparisons go too far, and we try to place up-and-comers in the same category as legends whose legacies have left an indelible mark on the musical landscape.

The late, great Michael Jackson is probably the most frequent victims of suspect comparisons. It seems that anyone who can dance and sing reasonably well is at some point dubbed the new or next version of The Gloved One. Usher is the new Michael Jackson. Chris Brown is the new Michael Jackson. Beyoncé is the new Michael Jackson. In the name of all that is holy, this must stop. I have seen all three of these “new Michael Jacksons” live, and I can attest that any one of their shows will change your night, if not your life. Usher is a consummate entertainer, Chris Brown is the best dancer I have ever seen anywhere, and Beyoncé
will leave you out of breath just watching her.

That said, to compare these entertainers to the King of Pop, a man who was arguably the most innovative, groundbreaking and important artist of all-time, hurts my feelings in ways I can’t begin to describe. I could possibly tolerate something more specific like “he can sing and dance well, kind of like a young Michael Jackson.” But to compare artists to someone who was incomparable won’t fly.

Another questionable comparison involves Trey Songz. I’ve heard him described as the next R. Kelly and/or D’Angelo. I’m sorry, what did you say? Just because you take your shirt off and sing sex-laced ballads does not make you heir to the throne of Kells or the inimitable D’Angelo. So I’m going to need people to cease and desist equating any crooner with a sexed up catalogue and a six-pack to either of these two very unique and musically-gifted individuals.

And then, there is perhaps the most egregious comparison I’ve heard yet: that Frank Ocean is this generation’s Luther Vandross or Marvin Gaye. For the love of Tyler Perry, we must stop this madness. I think we’ve all heard more than enough Luther and Marvin to know that Frank is neither, so I will kindly ask the people making these comparisons to have a seat for eternity.

Young Frank and his unique brand of R&B has certainly taken the world by storm. But to compare an individual with a mixtape and an album to legends who shaped entire eras, who left us with some of the most memorable music we have, whose musical styles don’t even resemble Ocean’s, is simply ludicrous. In the words of Claudette Wyms, one of my favorite characters on the former FX drama The Shield, “You’re stretching, son. Try yoga.”

These ridiculous comparisons also occur in the rap spectrum. I think we all laughed off the idea that Ja Rule was the new DMX, but among the more outlandish claims I’ve heard is that Kendrick Lamar is the new 2Pac. Girl, bye. I can’t even dignify that with a response.

Sure, there are similarities between artists, and comparisons are inevitable. Nicki Minaj is like Lil Kim or Foxy Brown, female rappers who blend sexuality with serious bars. Justin Bieber is like Justin Timberlake; they’re both white r&b/pop artists who got their start as teen idols. Lady Gaga is like Madonna; they’re fearless females who push the envelope and weave religious imagery and sex into their music.

But no one is the new or next anyone, much as each generation might want to lay claim to their own version of some superstar. Chris Brown is not the new Michael Jackson and Frank Ocean is not the new Luther Vandross. There is one Michael and one Luther and one Marvin and one 2Pac, and there will never be some newfangled knockoff. They’ll come through and create their own lane and legacies. But we lessen the legacies of certain icons by claiming there is some updated version, like they are a line of soft drink or an old computer program. What these people did is unmatched and will remain unmatched. Without taking anything away from these talented young artists — who deserve to be seen in their own light, and not in someone else’s shadow — let’s not pretend a legend who brought us something we’d never seen before and will never see again can somehow be duplicated.

What’s the craziest musical comparison you’ve ever heard? Sound off in the comments.

Lauren Carter is a Boston-based wordsmith who writes about music, pop culture, race and relationships. Connect with her on Twitter @ByLaurenCarter or check out her blog at



Pac Is That You? Buzzfeed Shows What Dead Musicians Would Look Like If They Were Alive Today

April 8th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
Share to Twitter Email This
2 pac

Source: Buzzfeed

Sorry to excite you — or incite more conspiracy theories that 2Pac might really be alive — but isn’t this visual pretty spot on? Last week Buzzfeed created a gallery showing what dead music artists of our age would look like had they stayed on earth just a little while longer, and they captured some of the most iconic stars of our kind from every genre, like Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Aaliyah, and, of course, Pac.

Though I’m sure Pac probably wouldn’t have gone from a supremely shaven bald head in his younger years to trying to hold on to this slowly receding hairline later in life, the caption Buzzfeed provided, “Director Tupac Shakur and his wife Jada Pinkett Shakur arrive at the after-party for the premiere of Shakur’s lastest film in New York City,” is probably just about right. Sorry Will!

Check out the photos and Buzzfeed’s prophesies for what these starlets would be doing now had they not passed away so soon. What do you think?

Source: Buzzfeed

Source: Buzzfeed

Aaliyah, 34

Singer, actress, and designer Aaliyah joins this season’s cast of American Idol as a judge.

Life Goes On: Tupac’s Estate To Release New Music and Memorabilia

February 19th, 2013 - By Ann Brown
Share to Twitter Email This

A wax figure of Tupac was unveiled at Madame Tussaud's in London last month. Rex Features via AP Images

A wax figure of Tupac was unveiled at Madame Tussaud’s in London last month. Rex Features via AP Images

The late Tupac Shakur was known a prolific artist. And when he died at the age of 25, it has been reported that he left behind a trove of songs and song concepts. Now his mother, Afeni Shakur, has announced she will release her son’s entire body of work.

According to Billboard, the late rapper’s estate is now being handled by Jampol Artist Management. His mother is head of the estate and founder of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation. “I believe it is our responsibility to make sure that Tupac’s entire body of work is made available for his fans. My son left many incomplete pieces and even more unfinished ideas. Using the blueprints he gave us, I am committed to fulfilling this duty,” she said in a press statement.

His estate will not only be releasing more Tupac tracks, but also plans to market his name. Jampol Artist Management will oversee licensing, apparel, and other ventures in all media worldwide, as it relates to Shakur’s music, film, name and likeness, reports Billboard.

JAM also handles the estates of The Doors, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Peter Tosh, and Henry Mancini and consults on the estate of Michael Jackson.

“It’s our responsibility — and our privilege — to ensure that new generations of fans experience the power of Tupac’s music, his ideas  and his storytelling,” JAM founder and president Jeffrey Jampol said in a statement.

Tom Whalley, the label executive who signed the hip hop artist to his first record deal, will be working with Jampol Artist Management on the upcoming music projects, notes Billboard.

When Tupac was murdered in 1996, he had registered 11 number one albums on the Billboard 200. He has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide as of 2010.