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  • European Dubs of ‘Soul’ Hired White Actors to Voice Black Characters
    It’s unclear if any European versions of Soul will be recast or remade. The European ports of Pixar‘s Soul completely undercut the significance of the film. And they’re stirring up a good deal of controversy across the pond. According to a recent report from The New York Times, white voice actors were cast to overdub black characters in several European versions of the film. Critics in Denmark were the first to point out the issue when the national newspaper, Berlingske, reached out to academics and local activists who identified the casting as a clear example of structural racism. After the piece was published, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, the white actor who voices Soul’s lead, Joe Gardner, in the Danish dub, issued a fairly tonedeaf statement on his Facebook page. “My position with regards to any job is very simple: let the man or woman who can perform the work in the best possible way get the job,” Lie Kaas wrote, not quite grasping the systemic critique. In Portugal, a petition calling for their version to be recasted and remade has garnered more than 17,000 signatures.  “This movie is not just another movie, and representation matters,” the petition reads. Black Portuguese actors have also weighed in on the casting, condemning Disney for perpetuating “a persistent and systemic race disparity practice in the Portuguese media, that results in the invisibilization of Black performers who constantly struggle to get roles in entertainment projects.” It remains unclear whether either of these dubs (or the half-dozen other European versions that also feature white actors dubbing black charaters,) will be redone. Disney and Pixar have yet to offer comment. Soul was released on December 25th, 2020 via the Disney+ streaming service. The film arrived to widespread acclaim for both its casting and content, placing Jamie Foxx at the lead of a star-studded cast of black actors, comedians, and musicians. Foxx’s character, Joe, is the first black antagonist in a Pixar film. The post European Dubs of ‘Soul’ Hired White Actors to Voice Black Characters appeared first on Okayplayer. Read more »
  • In Hip-Hop and Beyond: Sade [Playlist]
    Featuring deep cuts and classics from Mobb Deep, Black Star, MF DOOM, J Dilla, Freddie Gibbs, Snoop Dogg, and so many more. Unlike the countless r&b acts of her generation who, out of the gate, flooded the market with releases, Sade took her time to assemble a one-of-a-kind catalog. 37 years after the release of her 4x platinum debut, Diamond Life, she’s added five more albums to the archive, allowing each to marinate a little longer than the last. In those margins, reverence for the Nigerian-born, British-raised musician has swelled not just in the pedestrian sphere, but in the sample banks of some of hip-hop’s most celebrated producers. In fact, beatmakers have been quoting and manipulating Sade’s songs since almost the moment she landed, chopping up classic hooks, bending iconic melodies, and pitch-adjusting hypnotic arrangements. Their combined efforts and experiments in r&b have only broadened (and sweetened) rap’s source code. And today, the singer’s 62nd birthday, is a time as opportune as any to chart her impact on hip-hop production. In commemoration of Sade’s latest lap around the sun, we’re reviving the long-dormant playlist series, In Hip-Hop and Beyond, to explore the production legends, living and passed, who have stitched the honeyed cuts of an r&b innovator into some of the most adored beats of all-time (and even a few that may have slipped under the radar.) Featuring deep cuts and classics from Mobb Deep, Black Star, MF DOOM, J Dilla, Freddie Gibbs, Snoop Dogg, and so many more, our latest In Hip-Hop and Beyond sequence traces Sade’s unheralded contribution to the sampling tradition and celebrates the countless immutables she’s been embedded into. Hear dozens of songs that have sampled Sade in a special edition of In Hip-Hop and Beyond below. Head over to Okayplayer’s Spotify channel to comb through prior episodes.  The post In Hip-Hop and Beyond: Sade [Playlist] appeared first on Okayplayer. Read more »
  • Best Songs of The Week: ft. Smoke DZA, DJ Muggs, and More [Playlist]
    The Round-Up playlist is Okayplayer’s weekly haul of the best songs in the worlds of hip-hop and R&B. This week’s set features new music from DJ Muggs, Smoke DZA, CRIMEAPPLE, Keenyn Omari, and more. Scroll through selections from this week’s sequence below and subscribe to Okayplayer’s Spotify channel today. Saint Parrish featuring Mick Jenkins – “Blue Bills” Mick Jenkins blesses a smooth and soulful loosie from Saint Parrish with a batch of booming bars. Smoke DZA & R.F.C. featuring Conway The Machine – “Lavish” Conway The Machine joins Smoke DZA, Nym Lo, and Jayy Grams, for a vicious vice rap spectacle off the trio’s new album, Money is The Motive Pt. 1. CRIMEAPPLE – “Lizzo” A glimmering and cinematic standout from CRIMEAPPLE‘s latest project, Mátalos Con Mas Éxitos, which snuck under the radar over the holidaze. Keenyn Omari – “Don’t ask” Keenyn Omari is finally porting his catalog to the non-Bandcamp streamers. Today, he dropped the mammoth Sine Qua Non tape, anchored by this neck-cranking instrumental and far too many others. Stimulator Jones – “Don’t Be Afraid” Stimulator Jones steps into a hyper-swung mood with this warm and buoyant smoke-out suite from his new instrumental album for Mutual Intentions, La Mano.  Apifera – “Four Green Yellows” Following a few appearances on recent Stones Throw releases, Apifera commit their gorgeous fusion funk to full-length format, sharing their debut album with the legendary indie, Overstand. The 10-track project hits a particularly headie high on this sleek and buzzing campaign-starter. OG Swaggerdick – “Whip Fast” OG Swaggerdick props up his hilarious mini-project, Flaccid Rap, with a mood unto itself. And it’ll demand to be the score of your next lap (or twelve) around the block. DJ Muggs – “The Chosen One” The mighty DJ Muggs signals his next phase with a characteristically ghoulish single from his upcoming solo album, Dies Occidendum.  The post Best Songs of The Week: ft. Smoke DZA, DJ Muggs, and More [Playlist] appeared first on Okayplayer. Read more »
  • MF DOOM, Kendrick Lamar Highlight Joe Biden Official Inauguration Playlist
    The Joe Biden administration teamed up with Issa Rae and DJ D-Nice for the playlist. Joe Biden will officially be sworn in as America’s 46th President next week, and on Friday he dropped the occasion’s official playlist. The mix comes in conjunction with the Presidential Inaugural Committee, DJ D-Nice, and Issa Rae’s record label Raedio. Stream the full sequenced mix on Soundcloud or any other digital streaming platform. “As a brand that is founded on the principle of being an audio-everywhere company, we are honored to create the official playlist for the historic inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris,” Raedio co-founder Benoni Tagoe said in a statement. “We know that music has the power to bring people together, and after a year of national challenges and division, we hope this collection serves as an indication of a new beginning, positive change, and a reminder that music of all types is a common language.” #TheRaedio · Raedio Presents: Biden + Harris 2021 Inauguration Playlist The project covers a wide span of eras and genres. MF DOOM’s “Coffin Nails” makes the list, along with Salt-N-Pepa and En Vogue’s “Whatta Man.” Kendrick Lamar’s “Now or Never” appears alongside classics like Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day.” “During a tumultuous year that has kept so many loved ones apart, music has been a consistent vehicle that has kept us connected,” said PIC CEO Tony Allen. “Whether you are a country soul, a jazz enthusiast, a hip-hop head, a classical sort, or just love that old-time rock & roll, music clarifies, inspires, unites and heals. Today we are excited to share President-elect Biden’s and Vice President-elect Harris’ official inaugural playlist with the nation. These songs and artists reflect the relentless spirit and rich diversity of America. They are the score to a new chapter and will help bring people together as the Biden-Harris Administration begins its important work to unite our country.” The post MF DOOM, Kendrick Lamar Highlight Joe Biden Official Inauguration Playlist appeared first on Okayplayer. Read more »
  • 10 New Albums You Should Be Listening To (Week of January 15th)10 New Albums You Should Be Listening To (Week of January 15th)
    Here’s the latest weekly round-up of new albums. In an ever-changing music industry, new names are popping up on a daily basis. We here at Okayplayer know it can be tiring trying to keep up with all the new albums. That’s why every week, we round up the most notable releases to check out. This week’s list includes new albums from dvsn, Fredo Bang, UnoTheActivist, 2nd Generation Wu, and more. Get familiar with new names or check in with old favorites below. Nyck Caution – Anywhere But Here Pro Era and Beast Coast alum Nyck Caution is back, this time with a proper full-length solo effort. The 14-track project features crew mates Joey Bada$$ and CJ Fly, as well as Denzel Curry, Erick the Architect from Flatbush Zombies, Kota the Friend, and more. dvsn – Amusing Her Feelings Toronto-bred duo dvsn returns with a deluxe edition to their April 2020 album A Muse in Her Feelings. The four new tracks include “He Said,” a brand-new collaboration with Miguel. 2nd Generation Wu – Hereditary iNTeLL, PXWER, and Young Dirty Bastard–the sons of U-God, Method Man, Ghostface Killah and Old Dirty Bastard, respectively–have released their first full-length project via Dock Street Records. The project blends the dusted-out boom-bap sound with a fresh modern take. UnoTheActivist – Unoverse One of the more unheralded voices in Atlanta rap of the last few years is back. After a prolific 2020, UnoTheActivist starts the year with a spaced-out 10-track project. Uno recruited Mar90s and MDMA as the project’s only features. Nolay – Kalas EP OfficialNolay · Nolay – Kalas EP Croydon, England MC Nolay starts 2021 off with a 7-track EP. The project is her first full-length since 2016’s Grime, Guts & Glory. During her time away from music, she admits she was disillusioned with the music industry and contemplated pursuing an acting career. KALAS is a refreshed return to form. Asiahn – The Interlude On the heels of the success of “Like You,” which peaked at number 38 on Billboard‘s Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop airplay chart, New Jersey-born singer-songwriter Asiahn has released her third project. After writing hits for Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Drake, Lil Wayne and Dr. Dre, she’s stepping out on her own. Fredo Bang – In the Name of Gee (Still Most Hated) Baton Rouge native Fredo Bang returns with bonus additions to his latest project, In the Name of Gee. The project was dedicated to fellow Baton Rouge MC Da Real Gee Money, who was killed in 2017. The new album features guest appearances from Lil Durk, Moneybagg Yo, Sada Baby and more. Keenyn Omari – Sine Qua Non Named after the Latin phrase for something that is absolutely necessary, Keenyn Omari’s new 29-track project is just that. The New York beatsmith fuses hip-hop with jazz, keeping his foot on the gas after an already prolific 2020. Apifera – Overstand  The Stones Throw Records-signed collective of Yuval Havkin, Nitai Hershkovits, Amir Bresler and Yonatan Albalak have released their first full-length project as Apifera. The quartet cites folk music of their native Israel, traditional music from Sudan… Read more »
  • Dr. Dre is Home From the Hospital After Suffering Brain AneurysmDr. Dre is Home From the Hospital After Suffering Brain Aneurysm
    Dr. Dre has been at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for the last 10 days. Legendary producer, rapper, and entrepreneur Dr. Dre was released from the hospital on Friday (January 15th.) TMZ reported the update and Ice-T confirmed the news on Twitter, writing that he FaceTimed with him earlier today. Update: Just FaceTimed with @drdre He just made it home. Safe and looking good. — ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) January 15, 2021 On Monday, January 5th, Dre suffered a brain aneurysm,  He was then rushed to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he stayed in the ICU. According to TMZ, there will be medical professionals at his home who will monitor him for the next couple of weeks. We have not heard a lot from Dre. The night the news broke, he posted an update on his Instagram. In the post, he wrote that he was “doing great” and “getting excellent care” from his medical team. View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Dr. Dre (@drdre)   Dre, who is 55 years old, is currently in the middle of a nasty divorce with his longtime wife, Nicole Young. TMZ recently reported that Young filed papers claiming that the legendary producer has $262 million available to him in cash and Apple stock. Young is seeking $2 million a month in spousal support plus an additional $5 million to cover her various legal fees. He has balked at this deal, calling the demands “ridiculous.” The two have been married since 1996. Young has also detailed several instances of alleged abuse from Dre. According to court documents that PEOPLE got a hold of, Dre “held a gun to her head” twice, once in 2000 and once in 2001. She also alleges that he “punched” her in the “head/face” and “kicked down a door” while she hid “from his rage.” Those instances allegedly occurred in  1999, 200, and 2016. This story was updated on January 15th 2021. The post Dr. Dre is Home From the Hospital After Suffering Brain Aneurysm appeared first on Okayplayer. Read more »
  • How J Dilla Found His Singing Voice on “Think Twice”How J Dilla Found His Singing Voice on “Think Twice”
    Read an early excerpt of the oral history of the classic J Dilla debut, Welcome 2 Detroit, written by John Vanderpuije. The oral history will be included in the Welcome 2 Detroit 20-year box set. Next month will be the 20th anniversary of Welcome 2 Detroit, legendary producer J Dilla’s masterful debut. To celebrate the occasion, BBE, the label that released the album, will drop a special 20th Anniversary Box Set on February 5th, 2021, just a couple of days before Dilla Day The box set is massive: it spans 12 discs, featuring instrumentals, unreleased alternative mixes, studio outtakes, and new interpretations by DJs Azymuth and Muro. What’s really exciting is that there will also be an oral history breaking down the making of the album. Written by British writer and filmmaker John Vanderpuije, the oral history will include interviews with Dwele, Karriem Riggins, Amp Fiddler, Big Tone, Frank Nitt, Ma Dukes, and more. Today we are proud to exclusively publish an excerpt from the book, which breaks down the making of the legendary J Dilla jam “Think Twice.” We are also proud to share a remix of “Think Twice” from DJ Muro himself. Speaking about the track, Muro told us, via email: “For us, ‘Think Twice’ is one of our favorite tracks among the vast catalog of his works so our approach for this remix was not to lose the feel of the groove of the original. It has become an invaluable experience in our lives to produce this remix.”   Check out Muro’s remix of “Think Twice” above. And read the oral history of the classic track below. __ Written by John Vanderpuije Main Players (Alphabetical Order) Peter Adarkwah (founder of BBE) Blu (Rapper) Ma Dukes (J Dilla’s mother) Dwele (Singer, frequent Dilla collaborator) Elzhi (Rapper, member of Slum Village) Todd Fairall (J Dilla’s recording engineer) Amp Fiddler (musician and producer) Frank Nitt (One half of Frank n Dank) Karriem Riggins (jazz drummer and hip-hop producer) Ta’Raach (rapper) Big Tone (rapper, frequent Dilla collaborator) “Can you do something that’s really multifaceted?” Ma Dukes said it best, “He’s alive and thriving in every song.” And not only that, he’s also alive in the memories, anecdotes, and stories shared by his comrades in arms, some 20 years later. And we’re excited to share them, most of all because they demystify his process and humanize J Dilla, giving us a rare glimpse of James Yancey. A shy man. A taskmaster.  A deep and uncanny listener. A student with an insatiable appetite for music. Obsessed. Uncompromising. Frustrated. Well raised. Whip-obsessed. Driving through Detroit in various whips of various shapes and sizes. At the mall. At Chocolate City (the strip club) with friends. Smoking. Smiling. Laughing. In the studio. In the studio. In the studio. Single-minded. Dedicated. Generous. Constantly in search of the next groove. Making music as an act of love, and by the sounds of it, infinitely open-hearted. Ma Dukes: What he did on Welcome 2 Detroit, with the live music, meant so… Read more »
  • Chris Rock Once Agreed With MC Serch’s Wife That A Tribe Called Quest “Doesn’t Hold Up”
    In a recent appearance on MC Serch’s podcast series, Chris Rock talked about how he had a record deal as an MC in the ’80s, his appearance on Busta Rhymes’ new album and more. Chris Rock can’t believe he ever sided with MC Serch’s wife on a hot take she had about A Tribe Called Quest. During an appearance on Serch’s Serch Says podcast series, Rock was reminded of a time he agreed with Serch’s wife Chantel that the beloved Queens rap group “doesn’t hold up.” The moment occurred after Serch and Chantel went to see A Tribe Called Quest in Chicago for one of their last live shows. “I’m saying, ‘Damn, man, Tribe was incredible tonight,'” Serch recalled, noting how the two were listening to the group’s Low End Theory album on the way back. “And she’s like, ‘Eh, Tribe doesn’t hold up.'” Serch then proceeded to call Rock and tell him what Chantel said. Surprisingly, Rock agreed with Chantel, saying: “You know, Chantel’s right.” “I said that?” Rock asked surprisingly. “I take it back…Tribe holds up maybe better than every other rap group ever.” “Let me say this about Tribe records — there’s nothing I feel silly saying as a 50-year-old,” Rock added. “And by the way, the last Tribe album was insane…it’s weird 20 years in you got a great Tribe album and a great Busta album.” The pair also talked about Chris Rock’s interest in being an MC, with the comedian sharing that he once had a record deal in the ’80s, something he also recently discussed with Neal Brennan. “I had a deal at Atlantic I believe…I had a record deal as a rapper before I even had a deal as a comedian,” Rock said. “I had a 12-inch deal, because there were no album deals.” Rock recently released an extended cut of his 2018 Netflix special, Tamborine. The post Chris Rock Once Agreed With MC Serch’s Wife That A Tribe Called Quest “Doesn’t Hold Up” appeared first on Okayplayer. Read more »
  • HBO Max Hits ‘The Boondocks’ Reboot with Another Delay
    The anxiously-awaited revival of The Boondocks still hasn’t received a proper release date. It appears HBO Max has slapped The Boondocks reboot with yet another postponement. In fact, according to an insider column from TVLine, the streamer is holding off on announcing even an estimated time of arrival, deferring to “later in 2021” as the only point of reference. Back in 2019, when the show’s revival was initially announced, fans were told they could expect a Fall 2020 premiere of the first of two new seasons of a “reimagined” version of Aaron McGruder’s critically-acclaimed animated series. Soon after, the show’s Instagram account began teasing updated designs of characters. However, just a few months later, comedian John Witherspoon (who voiced Grandad,) passed, presumably complicating the production of the new seasons. Not long from then, the show revealed it was moving forward with production by patching the gap in the cast with a combination of Witherspoon’s actual recordings and a deep-fake-ish technology that mimicks Witherspoon’s voice, which drew some criticism after the late comedian’s son and fellow voice actor, JD, revealed the show’s producers passed on the opportunity to cast him in his father’s role. While we can’t necessarily pinpoint a premiere date for the new season of The Boondocks or the 50-minute accompanying special, all four of the show’s previous seasons are currently steaming over on HBO Max. And you could have as long as the entirety of the year to run those back. Hold tight for updates on the new seasons in the weeks and months ahead.     The post HBO Max Hits ‘The Boondocks’ Reboot with Another Delay appeared first on Okayplayer. Read more »
  • Ariana Grande Drops “34+35 (Remix)” Ft. Megan Thee Stallion & Doja Cat
    The remix arrived late on Thursday night with unabashedly sexy verses by Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion. Ariana Grande shook things up a bit when she dropped her “34+35 (Remix)” featuring Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat on Thursday night.  Positions was one of the best albums to arrive in 2020. On the album, Grande’s voice was pushed deeper into the R&B space. This new remix is a link up that’s timely since Meg and Doja also were equally successful last year. Megan dropped her debut album Good News which was well received by her fans. While Doja served up a few guest features that were met with fanfare including one on Positions.  Since “34+35” was one of the filthier songs on the album, it’s no surprise that Megan and Doja Cat matched Ariana’s energy. Below we’re sharing a few of our favorite bars they dropped and why we love them.  “Add up the numbers or get behind that/Play and rewind that, listen, you’ll find that/I want that six-nine without Tekashi/And I want your body and I make it obvious/Wake up the neighbors, we got an audience” Doja didn’t have to throw in that Tekashi 6ix9ine bar in the mix about that position (yes)! But she did and we’re here for it.  “Forget your girl, pretend that I’m her/Come make the cat purr, come make my back hurt, ayy/Makin’ that squirt and rain and shower and spray (Ah)/Now that’s perfect, baby, we don’t sleep enough” She then brings it home when she makes mention that who she’s rapping about has a girlfriend. Another nice touch is the metaphor she uses next as she glides on the beat. She then shares another risqué line when she adds “squirt,” “rain” and “shower” in another bar.   “I can make you pop, legs up like a Cancan (Bow, bow)/Wake the neighbors up, make it sound like the band playin’ (Bow, bow)/Bitch, let me get cute (Yeah)/He’s about to come through (He about to come through)/I’ve been in the shower for ’bout a whole hour (Yeah, yeah)/He finna act a dog in it so he get the bald kitty (Yeah, yeah)” Megan’s use of the Cancan sexual innuendo was damn good. She floats easily over this beat as she makes it clear she’s comfortable serving up explicit bars even on pop beats. The last bar we’re centering that incorporates “dog” and “bald kitty” is the opposite of chaste, it’s downright vulgar.  “This pussy good for your health, call it superfood (Superfood)/When I’m by myself, DIY like it’s YouTube (Ah, ah)/Bad, bad bitch, all the boys wanna spank me (Spank me)/Left him on read, girlfriend need to thank me (Thank me)/Make his toes point, ballerina, no tutu” The Houston hottie’s next set of bars are also quite salacious. We’re all ears when she refers to the nether regions of her body as “Superfood.” Elsewhere when she adds in that she’s no novice when it comes to self-pleasure, we’re here for it. She also gets the… Read more »
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