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Mekhi Phifer Talks Season 2 Of Star-Studded Audio Drama “Bronzeville”

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Welcome to Bronzeville!

You’ve never experienced a podcast like “Bronzeville” featuring a star-studded cast immersed in an Oscar-worthy audio movie (with realistic sound effects and music by Grammy-winning musicians) that will have you on the edge of your seat at home, work, the train station or airport.

From Laurence Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions and Larenz Tate’s TateMen Entertainment comes the critically acclaimed podcast series centered around the lives of players in the numbers game who thrive in the self-sustaining African-American community of Chicago’s Bronzeville.

Both Fishburne and Tate produce, direct and voice the enthralling series starring Tika Sumpter, Mekhi Phifer, Kyla Pratt, Lavar Burton, Justin Kirk, Lalah Hathaway, Harold Perrineau, Skeet Ulrich, Lahmard Tate, Barton Fitzpatrick, Affion Crockett and other notables.

In Season 2, the Copeland family, Curtis Randolph (Laurence Fishburne) and Jimmy Tillman (Larenz Tate) are still reeling from the mysterious death of their brother Everett (Wood Harris) and the fallout from a heinous crime that reaches all the way to the mayor’s office while threatening to burn Bronzeville to the ground.

With the arrival of a new mob boss whose got his eyes set on their numbers racket, the future of the Copeland empire and Bronzeville is now in jeopardy.

“Fans will be captivated by the rich storytelling and transported into an intriguing time in history that is reflective of both pain and pride,” said Fishburne.

“We’re experiencing a new Black Renaissance, and “Bronzeville” offers another creative platform to tell rich stories of Black history and Black culture,” said Larenz Tate.

“Season 2 of “Bronzeville” sheds light on a different perspective of the Black experience in the early 1940s.”

We caught up with Black Hollywood legend Mekhi Phifer (Jesse Copeland) who talked Season 2 of the prolific audio series that has the podcast community buzzing.

BOSSIP: First of all, “Bronzeville” is the most action-packed podcast I’ve ever heard–

Mekhi: Right (laughs) well, you know, it’s funny because I was supposed to be in the first season but I was shooting out of the country for about six, seven months and it just didn’t work out so that’s when Omari stepped in and did it and then in season two I was able to jump on board.

It’s almost like a “Rosewood,” if you will, in the sense of showing how when these African-American communities band together and start to become independent and self-sufficient that other people try to take advantage of that… and it just goes to show you how important and strong our Black dollar is to our people and the powers that be who try to get in on our economy.

And I just feel like the story is important because we rarely get to see an independent Black economical situation and we have so many colorful characters that you heard and I was just very happy to be a part of it.

BOSSIP: What was the conversation like to get you on board? Who pitched the show to you and what was their pitch like?

Mekhi: Larenz Tate! He’s the one who told me about it. I knew about the show because I was supposed to be on the first season and he said ‘look, this is what it is,’ told me about Brownsville, told me the historic significance of it–basically based on a true story and told me that him and Laurence Fishburne were doing it together along with his brothers and some other people.

I just loved it. I thought it was a great idea. I’ve never done that before. And I’ve never done an audio book or podcast story, you know, type of thing. And it just seemed like something fun to explore.

BOSSIP: On the podcast, everyone’s tempering how they speak to fit the theme of the show–what was the direction like?

Mekhi: They didn’t have to [direct] me–obviously I don’t want to sound like I’m contemporary Harlem but, as an actor, as a professional doing what I do, you’re always going to change with different roles.

It’s still you but you can’t use modern colloquialisms so you just have to be mindful of that so that doesn’t come across like I’m in “Paid In Full” or something.

BOSSIP: How did the show challenge you as an actor? You’ve been doing this for almost 30 years. Did it make you stretch differently?

Mekhi: For me, I just pictured it as if a camera was on. I wanted to have the emotion and, look, you have to do it even more intensely because there’s no closeups or anything like that so you really have to channel how you feel through your words. And through your emotions.

You really have to dig deep, if you will, because you’re just behind a mic. There’s no sets–you’re not going to get that closeup where they can look into your eyes and see you crying so you just gotta give them that energy.

“Bronzeville” is available every Tuesday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and several other digital platforms. Fans can follow and contribute to the conversation on Instagram.





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DaBaby Still Receiving Fall Out For His Homophonic Comments!!!

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There was a change to the lineup in the popular event”Lollapalooza”. There were some great performances. But DaBaby was not one of them. In fact, DaBaby was pulled from the roster the day he was to perform.

dababy

DaBaby’s Apology Was Not Enough

Summer is the time for all sorts of outdoor concerts and festivals. And, the Lollapalooza is one of the best events. The Lollapalooza was held over the weekend in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois. Celebrity performances we head up by singer Miley Cyrus, Tyler the Creator, Marshmello, Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion, Journey, Foo Fighters, G Herbo, Grandson, Machine Gun Kelly, and Roddy Ricch. As you can see, the entertainment was lit. However, DaBaby was replaced at the last minute with rapper G Herbo.

Needless to say, the homophonic comments DaBaby made while on stage at the Miami Rolling Loud music Festival are hurting his career. While DaBaby has apologized, it has not stopped him from receiving backlash. Sir Elton John, Madonna, and movie maker Questlove spoke out against DaBaby.

The 50-year-old Roots drummer (born Ahmir Thompson) called the Red Light Green Light rapper an ‘idiot’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘not cool at all.’

In a statement from Lollapalooza, the venue’s spoke person shared this,

“Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect, and love. With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight.”

Not only is DaBaby losing gigs, but he is also losing endorsements, as well. Some are saying that since DaBaby is being mentored by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson things have gone left. The “Rockstar” rapper has enjoyed a lot of success. Although, now his popularity may dwindle. On the other hand, T.I. has spoken up for DaBaby.

“Everyone up in arms and upset about what DaBaby said. I understand people saying that they feel that it’s insensitive,” T.I. said in an Instagram Live session. “I think you guys have to understand that onstage, that’s not the place that rappers go to be sensitive and soothe everybody’s feelings. It’s a place to go to have a good time.”

Clearly, DaBaby is either a pure genius, in terms of gaining publicity, or he is insensitive to the plight of others. Either way, this issue has sparked quite a debate. Wouldn’t you say?

 

 



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Frank Ocean Will Headline Coachella… in 2023

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Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes…

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Photo Credit: Collier Schorr

Frank Ocean will be performing in the desert in 2023.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is expected to make its comeback  in April 2022 after a two year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the organizers of the festival are already thinking of 2023. In an interview with the LA Times, Coachella co-founder Paul Tollett revealed that Frank Ocean will be headlining the festival in 2023. It’s still super early, and pretty odd to see a festival reveal its headliner a year and a half out, but Tollett said he wanted to give fans “reassurance” that Ocean — who was scheduled to headline in 2020 — will eventually be at the festival. 

“Right now, it’s the Wild West,” Tollett said. “I’m just trying to be as fair as I can to artists and to the fans to make sure that eventually they get to see everyone that we talked about.”

Ocean was scheduled to perform at Coachella in 2020, alongside fellow headliners Rage Against the Machine and Travis Scott. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Coachella to delay their festival. (In ffact, it was one of the first big festivals to pull the plug when cases were surging.) Ocean could not confirm for April 2022, due to a scheduling conflict, so he will be coming back in 2023. Coachella said they will announce the third headliner soon. 

Back in June, Coachella announced that the festival will return to the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California on the weekends of April 15-17 and April 29-May 1st. The festival will also be streaming on YouTube. 

“We’re back and thrilled to be partnering with Goldenvoice for the 10th year to live stream the iconic Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on YouTube,” YouTube said in a statement at the time. “As the world’s biggest virtual stage, we are more excited than ever to celebrate live music and to bring two weekends of extraordinary performances to music fans around the world.”



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Them Chains – “Misuse” (Video)

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Them Chains attaches a video onto their new single “Misuse”.



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