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Articles on this Page
- 08/10/15--08:30: _Meet Ezra Furman: D...
- 08/10/15--08:56: _Get "High By The Be...
- 08/10/15--09:30: _A Couple Accidental...
- 08/10/15--10:45: _Love Actually is Re...
- 08/10/15--11:31: _Duran Duran Release...
- 08/11/15--02:28: _A Florida FOX Ancho...
- 08/11/15--04:31: _Xavier Dolan on His...
- 08/11/15--05:43: _Kim Kardashian Has ...
- 08/11/15--05:45: _12 Creatives Leadin...
- 08/11/15--05:55: _19 Year-Old Girl At...
- 08/11/15--06:23: _Lil B Drops Hillary...
- 08/11/15--07:00: _Photos from Tumblr ...
- 08/11/15--08:00: _Arkansas Rapper Kar...
- 08/11/15--08:06: _Angel Haze is on th...
- 08/11/15--08:50: _Iggy Azalea Is Now ...
- 08/11/15--09:21: _The Making of the E...
- 08/11/15--09:50: _Winona Ryder Confir...
- 08/11/15--12:01: _Patti Smith's Memoi...
- 08/12/15--02:05: _Pharrell's Tour Rid...
- 08/12/15--04:00: _"N.W.A. Were the Ma...
- 08/10/15--08:56: Get "High By The Beach" With Lana Del Rey's Hazy New Single
- 08/10/15--09:30: A Couple Accidentally Had a Future "Dirty Sprite 2"-Themed Wedding
- 08/10/15--10:45: Love Actually is Real: Game of Thrones Body Doubles are Dating
- 08/10/15--11:31: Duran Duran Release The Addictive New Title Track For "Paper Gods"
- 08/11/15--02:28: A Florida FOX Anchor Threw a Tantrum Over Kylie Jenner
- 08/11/15--05:45: 12 Creatives Leading San Juan, Puerto Rico's Thriving Art Scene
- 08/11/15--05:55: 19 Year-Old Girl Attempts To "Protect" Ferguson Cops
- 08/11/15--06:23: Lil B Drops Hillary Clinton, Endorses Bernie Sanders
- 08/11/15--07:00: Photos from Tumblr IRL's Gucci Mane-Inspired Party and Art Gallery
- 08/11/15--08:00: Arkansas Rapper Kari Faux Channels Rod Stewart In "Supplier" Video
- 08/11/15--08:06: Angel Haze is on the War Path in "Babe Ruthless"
- 08/11/15--08:50: Iggy Azalea Is Now Beefing with Comic Book Twitter Accounts
- 08/11/15--09:21: The Making of the Entourage Movie Was Even Sadder Than You Thought
- 08/11/15--09:50: Winona Ryder Confirms That a Beetlejuice Sequel Is On The Way
- 08/11/15--12:01: Patti Smith's Memoir "Just Kids" Is Coming to Television
While Drake and Meek Mill fight over some petty shit, Future's Dirty Sprite 2 has stealthily become the full album of the summer, and one of the strongest rap releases of the year. Partly, that's because of his strength of personality, leading to an aggressively devoted following -- even when Future does kind of sketchy stuff, the glee and zeal of his fans makes it hard to stay mad at him. So naturally, the possibility of an entire DS2-themed wedding made the internet very, very excited.
Sadly, the couple, Donovan Livingston and Lauren West-Livingston, claim that the theme of their wedding was an accident. In an interview with USA Today, the pair say that the color gradient was unintentional (combining each of their favorite colors), but that once the DS2 cover art had been unveiled, they decided to make a program for the wedding that used the art and took the form of a track list.
That's pretty cool, except that the newlyweds apparently only played one Future song at their wedding ceremony. Sure, it was "Fuck Up Some Commas," but they couldn't even throw in "March Madness" for everyone who showed up for the wedding? Seriously? It hardly seems like an imposition on their special day. (Admittedly, Future fans are never satisfied.)
Still, even if Livingston and Livingston-West didn't intentionally get their diamonds from Africa, they can still ride off into the sunset knowing they had the best, most fortuitously timed wedding ever. Most importantly, when they have children who are old enough to ask where they came from, the parents can look mad lovingly into each other's eyes, and after that, turn back to their lil one and proudly and honestly say: #FutureHive.
In one of the most adorable stories to ever come out of Westeros (or Essos), Decider reports that Ignacio Blanco and Rosie Mac, the body doubles for Daario Naharis and Daenerys Targaryen, are dating in real life after, presumably, spending a lot of time pretending to have sex on-set. The Daily Mail confirmed the coupling in an interview, in which Blanco said, "We are so committed to the show that we followed the steps of Michiel's and Emilia's characters," which is both sweet and a little creepy (are these crazy kids going to be able to make it work?).
Still, the story is amazing for a lot of reasons. It creates a piece of IRL Game of Thrones fan fic, a world in which two characters can actually be happy (and go on real dates) without the threat of meaningless "gritty" violence or power plays. It's a neat little reminder of all of the people who must work on the show and how much time they probably have to spend getting everything exactly right so that Emilia Clarke doesn't have to film every single shot she's supposed to be in. But most importantly, it means Love Actually is real -- specifically, the part where the sex stand-ins fall in love.
Good work, universe.
The Kardashians have successfully made themselves ubiquitous pop cultural figures, so famous that pretty much anything they do is noted. But is it too much? Is it just too difficult to keep up with the Kardashians? One brave Florida man took a stand, crying aloud on his FOX 35 local news show that he did not want to talk about chemtrail enthusiast Kylie Jenner's rabbit, Bruce. "I'm having a good Friday, so I refuse to talk about the Kardashians today," he yelps, practicing a level of self-love and care that would make Kim proud. "it's a non-story," he cries, turning it into a story.
Tom at the Farm, the latest film from Canadian director / actor Xavier Dolan, is the story of a young gay urbanite, Tom played by Dolan, who travels to an isolated farm town for the funeral of his recently deceased lover in rural Canada. What follows is a twisting pyschological thriller played out in the deceased's family's menacingly bucolic home, recalling not a little bit the sharp suspense of Hitchcock and the ambient chill of David Lynch. Dolan's hand as a director, at a beguiling 26, is just as confident with Tom as it is with his buzzier films like last year's Mommy and his Cannes triumph, 2009's I Killed My Mother. Yet Tom, made in 2013, sat unreleased after making the festival rounds that year until this week, much to the chagrin of Dolan's ever-increasing American audience.
Tom is based on a play of the same name by Canadian playwright Michel Marc Bouchard that Dolan decided to make into a film on the spot after seeing it in 2012.The plot of a young man strong-armed into hiding the sexuality of himself and his dead boyfriend for the benefit of the less tolerant spoke to the filmmaker, even in a moment where acceptance of gay relationships seems a moot point. "There are people with unevolved points of view everywhere and not only in the country, but true perhaps more than elsewhere," he explains when we spoke in New York. But aside from the provincialism gay people may still confront in their families or communities, Dolan maintains it's first a self-deception that is universal experience. "I think that the first thing that you learn to do when you're gay is to lie to yourself and lie to others. Even in an environment where people are very accepted," he adds.
That Tom so easily bends to the violent caprices of the family's brother, who insists on the charade, is less out of complicity but a survival mechanism that any gay person learns first; to play along with the right story until you're out of the house and on your own. The immediate brutality and earthiness of farm life, where animals are slaughtered and ones livelihood is dependent on the work of hands, is apparent in a way that is at a remove in the city, and makes Tom all the more an outsider as he wanders from the milking barn (it is a dairy farm) and gives chase more than once in a foreboding corn field. "I wanted it to be simple and grainy and earthy and a little sort of dirty," he explains. "I didn't want it to be pretty or lush."
Dolan's prodigy is achingly apparent in Tom and it speaks to his protean output that a film like this could linger unreleased as it did while he moved on successfully to other projects. He is an unapologetic riposte to rote criticisms of the 1989 generation of entitlement or laziness. It is not surprising that Karl Lagerfeld, whose creative yield over the decades is nothing short of extraterrestrial, champions the young filmmaker at every opportunity.
I had to ask him about one of the more specific choices of the film which is the particular style of Tom's hair; a curly, if at times distracting, thatch of blond. Dolan betrays his youth a bit when he answers, "I wanted the good guy to be blonde. It's as simple as that."
Tom at the Farm opens August 14th in New York City. Other cities and dates are here.
First they say I'm too skinny so I have to be faking it...Now they say I'm too big so I have to be faking it...SMH! Some days I'm photographed before I eat & look smaller, some days I've just eaten & I look bigger. It's all a part of the process. I think you all know me well enough to know I would document the process if I got a surrogate. Everyone's body is different, every pregnancy is very different! I've learned to love my body at every stage! I'm going to get even bigger & that's beautiful too! I'm blessed to even be pregnant & even luckier to not have preeclampsia as far as I know, so I don't have the swelling issue this time! They also say your body carries a boy different than a girl! Whatever the case may be I'm grateful to God for this miracle & no matter what rumors or comments you throw my way this time they truly don't affect me! #NoFilter #NoPhotoShop #GoodLighting 😜
Unfazed by the island's dire financial problems, a new wave of Puerto Rican artists are creating, collaborating, and keeping the party going. If you drive past the U.S. territory's well-photographed beaches, resorts, and palm trees and head inland, you'll discover world-class art galleries, event spaces and a close-knit creative community, many of whose members have grown up together. Included in Phaidon's Art Cities of the Future, a massive tome on emerging art capitals, San Juan's lively arts scene can be found everywhere from the cobblestone streets of the old neighborhood to the nascent micro-communities found in industrial, artist-centric Santurce. But whatever the setting, local creatives are proving that the a certain DIY spirit -- long gone from more established art capitals -- is thriving in Puerto Rico. Below, we take a look at twelve key players in the city's scene.
1) Celina Nogueras, Art Historian + Miguel Miranda, Architect of Muuaaa Design Studio
Through their design studio and creative agency, Muuaaa, art historian, curator, and editor Celina Nogueras and architect Miguel Miranda have been an active part of San Juan's scene and are credited with nurturing Santurce's renaissance, which many have compared to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the '90s. Currently Muuaaa works on everything from brand strategy to collaborations with the local government on pop-up art events. Nogueras is also known for creating and running Circa, a prominent art fair that ran from 2006-2010 and in 2011, the international spotlight shown on her when she edited Frescos: 50 Puerto Rican Artists Under 35 (Actar). Today she directs a popular design fair called Boom that specializes in furniture, interiors, and installation design.
2) Radamés "Juni" Figueroa, Sculptor/Painter
A polyglot artist, working with mediums ranging from oil paint to wooden planks, Radamés "Juni" Figueroa is one of Puerto Rico's most illustrious rising stars. Based in San Juan, Figueroa has exhibited everywhere from the Sculpture Center and The Whitney in NYC to Medellín, Colombia, where he created a "triangle eucalyptus for meditation" at 43 Salon Inter-Nacional (2013). Drawing inspiration from his tropical upbringing, Figueroa is known for incorporating rum fountains, pineapple centerpieces, fruit adorned with liberty spikes, and even whole tree houses into his immersive, site-specific work. Figueroa is also fresh off his inclusion in the Biennial of the Americas in Denver, and took part last year in a residency at MALBA (Museo de Arte Latino Americano de Buenos Aires), where he created this delightful video.
Quite possibly Puerto Rico's best known artists, this (married) pair have drawn significant attention to the island's developing creative scene, while questioning their home's political link to the United States, a link that includes the territory's history as a military base, a legacy that can still be seen in unexploded bombs and tanks littering the island. Playful yet pointedly political, their 2011 contribution to the United States pavilion at the Venice Biennale included a U.S. Olympic athlete jogging on a treadmill that powered the wheels of an upside-down military tank. Their hybrid works -- often a unique mix of sculpture, photography, performance, sound, and video -- explore both the real and conceptual act of "mark-making," and the relationships between object and meaning, humor and seriousness.
Their work has brought them to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and residencies at P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center and the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Allora and Calzadilla were also short-listed for the Guggenheim Museum's prestigious Hugo Boss Prize in 2006. Up next, they will be creating an immersive exhibition for the Dia Foundation called Puerto Rican Light (Cave Winds), which will bring an 8' high Dan Flavin sculpture titled "Puerto Rican Light (To Jeanie Blake) 2" to PR, by placing it inside Cueva Vientos cave in the southern region of the island. Flavin's sculpture will also be lit each day from noon to 6pm via solar panels placed outside of the cave. Art lovers with plans to visit PR, have no fear: the project will run for 2 years, from noon to 6pm each day.
4) Francisco Rovira Rullán, Owner of Roberto Paradise
After the 2008 economic crisis, many of the contemporary art galleries in San Juan were forced to shut down. Today, the San Juan scene has rebounded and is experiencing a new wave of growth -- powered mostly by young artists, curators, and gallerists who have known and supported each other for decades. Founded in 2011 by Francisco Rovira Rullán, Roberto Paradise has been called "an art world trailblazer," luring magazine editors and collectors to the Caribbean in the hopes of scouting the next big thing. For several years the gallery served as a reliable incubator for fresh young talent with Rullán identifying and raising young Puerto Rican artists from the start of their careers before launching them into the international waters of global art fairs like Basel and NADA in New York and Miami. Today the gallery represents artists José Luis Vargas, Timothy Bergstrom, Katherine Bernhardt and more.
5) Jesús "Bubu" Negrón, Artist
Called "one of Latin America's most important conceptual artists of his generation," Jesús "Bubu" Negrón has already been included in scores of international shows, exhibitions, and projects, with installation sites ranging from small villages in Central America to the United Arab Emirates. Popular for his highly sought-after "Colillones," giant cigarette butts that nod equally to Claes Oldenburg and Tumblr culture, his unique conceptual art projects have helped put PR on the map. Negron is also no stranger to controversy: one of his most popular projects, Rosa Tecata, included a large flower made with banana leaves that resembled those often made by San Juan addicts to sell to tourists to pay for drugs. Recently, for the final project of his residency in Utrecht, the Netherlands, he tied together hundreds of bicycles in fluorescent tape for a luminescent night ride through the Dutch countryside.
6) Mónica Rodríguez, Video Artist
Through the use of a variety of media that includes video, performance and installation, pioneering feminist artist Mónica Rodriguez creates work that explores the relationship between art and politics. Championing independent women artists on an island where, sadly, like most of the world, men still reign supreme, Rodriguez has so far taken up residencies at Flux Factory, the Whitney, and Exit Art in NYC and recently took part in a pivotal, woman-run exhibition at La Ene in Buenos Aires.
7) Chemi Rosado-Seijo, DIY Curator
Born in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, Chemi Rosado-Seijo, in collaboration with fellow artist Michy Marxuach, was a mastermind behind local institution M & M Projects, a gallery that later transformed into a not-for-profit organization presenting resources and exhibitions for contemporary artists in Puerto Rico. Since 2002, he has worked with residents of the El Cerro community, a poor neighborhood south of San Juan, to present public art projects, workshops and other community initiatives, and in 2006 he inaugurated La Perla's Bowl: a sculpture built with residents of San Juan's La Perla that functions as both a skateboarding ramp and working pool. Since 2009, Rosado-Seijo has been organizing exhibitions in his apartment in Santurce, creating a meeting and collaboration hub for the Puerto Rican contemporary art scene.
8) Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Filmmaker
After receiving her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, filmmaker Beatriz Santiago Muñoz has made a name for herself with an uncontrived, observational style of work that blurs the boundaries between fact and fiction. Her most famous film, The Black Cave (La Cueva Negra), draws on interviews with archaeologists and local residents to explore the Paso del Indio, an indigenous burial ground in Puerto Rico unearthed during the creation of a highway. She was also included in the Guggenheim's Under the Same Sun exhibition, curated by Pablo León de la Barra, and Brazil's Mercosul Biennial in 2011. Also a co-founder of art space Beta Local, she recently won a grant from Creative Capital to make an experimental film on extraordinary and marginalized women that's expected to get buzz on the island.
9) Michelle Marxuach, Gallerist
Along with Beatriz Santiago Muñoz and Tony Cruz, Michelle Marxuach is the co-founder of art space and non-profit Beta-Local and currently serves as co-director. But before that, she took a break from the art world between 2005-07 to restore and design a historic structure in Old San Juan that now stands as home to the Beta-Local program. Previously, Marxuach founded and directed M & M Projects, an alternative nonprofit space dedicated to strengthening the production of contemporary art in Puerto Rico and its promotion internationally. As part of the space, she created a workshop for local residents and international artists, and is considered one of the founder's of PR's current art boom.
10) Marina Reyes Franco, Curator
Born in Puerto Rico, Franco got her start in Argentina, where she co-founded La Ene -- Nuevo Museo Energía de Arte Contemporáneo, one of Latin America's only online galleries, which specializes in everything from new media art to installations. After she returned to PR last year she curated shows at Galería Agustina Ferreyra and Calibán, which featured the work of Jesús "Bubu" Negrón, Alia Farid, Chemi Rosado-Seijo, Radamés "Juni" Figueroa, and Karlo Andrei Ibarra. Despite work and educational offers from around the world, Reyes has decided to stay in Puerto Rico to help out the emerging art community and be part of the imminent restructuring of the island. Currently she is working with several local artists on projects, thinking about opening a space, and working on the re-printing of Esteban Valdés' poetry book Fuera de Trabajo. "If you have read anything about Puerto Rico in the news lately, it's probably something about the country being broke but not even being able to declare bankruptcy," says Franco. "The outlook is dire, but I definitely felt the need to come back [and] be here.... [we need to put] our heads together with other creative people to contribute ideas, disrupt and create alternatives to the obviously failing official institutions."
Lexi, 19 is whiter than a Donald Trump rally in a snowstorm https://t.co/LNSypAYgZ7-- Glen Coco (@MrPooni) August 11, 2015
Lil B is a powerful figure, capable of exerting supernatural influence on basketball players to the point where even ESPN has recognized his abilities, having him on for "Cursed or Not Cursed." Now, fresh off his excellent collaborative mixtape with Chance the Rapper, the Based God has taken on an even bigger target: the White House.
"She didn't have any part in trying to march against segregation," the Based God said of a woman who, long-time fans will remember, he proclaimed support for all the way back in 2010. "Shouts out to Hillary Clinton, you gonna win that presidency soon" he says on early classic "Bitch I'm Bill Clinton," cruelly dangling the favor of the Based God in front of the now-doomed politician. Hopefully Bernie Sanders has made a sufficient sacrifice to the Based God (and renewed his commitment to combating structural racism), lest he wind up like Kevin Durant.
Every so often, Tumblr hosts their "IRLs" bringing their content, users, and aesthetic to life with parties, art shows and concerts. Last night they hosted an iteration with creative agency Electric Circus dedicated to all-things Gucci Mane. The party was in honor of Electric Circus' new digital art portal, The Burrprint, featuring Gucci-inspired "historical moments shared via Tumblr TV, re-blogged and original content," according to a press release. The IRL included a pop-up art gallery, a party featuring 45 hamburgers (a nod to Gucci's shoot for LRG) and live performances by 808 Mafia's TM88 and Rome Fortune at Brooklyn's Villain. Click through to see photos from the night, below.
Twenty-two year-old, Little Rock-based rapper, Kari Faux, first got the Internet's attention a year ago with her debut mixtape, Laugh Now, Die Later, and since then the young artist's caught the eyes of Childish Gambino, who collaborated with her on a remix of mixtape track "No Small Talk" and appeared in her video, "Gahdamn." Now managed by Childish and his manager, Kari's gearing up to release a new EP, Lost En Los Angeles, and we're amped to be premiering the video for the record's lead single, "Supplier." With sultry rhymes and minimalist, disco-esque beats the song gets accompanied by Kari's homage to Rod Stewart's classic "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" video -- feathered hair, grainy TV footage, lingering glances and all. Give it a watch, above.
Angel Haze announced her upcoming mixtape Back to the Woods with the violent "Impossible,"but, if anything, she's topped it with "Babe Ruthless." It's "open season" she declares, positioning Back to the Woods as a kind of hunting ground for every other rapper in the game. She also describes it as her "Machiavelli" and "me becoming Super Saiyan" to The Fader, sparking what will hopefully be vast amounts of Dragonball Z-Tupac fan fiction. September 14 -- the projected release date for the tape -- can't come soon enough.
'The Last Airbender' is to movies what Iggy Azaelia is to music.-- Superhero Feed (@SuperheroFeed) August 10, 2015
@SuperheroFeed clever, ill just be over here enjoying my millions of dollars for doing nothing while you enjoy the Fantastic 4 ;-) xoxo-- IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) August 10, 2015
Is it just me or are McDonalds using the "milk, milk, lemonade round the corner chocolates made" song to advertise their Lemonade. :-/ lol.-- IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) July 31, 2015
so apparently its not that song, im still gona be thinking of poo and pee when i see McDonalds drinks... its too late. its in my head now.-- IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) July 31, 2015
I watch true detective almost purely because the first season was so good.-- IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) August 10, 2015
Wellp im hungry soooo immm gooooonnaaaa gooooo.....-- IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) July 23, 2015
,-- IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) June 28, 2015
The Entourage movie was... a thing... that happened, sadly. Vincent Chase rode again. And apparently, there might even be another Entourage movie. If the franchise is going to continue to be a presence in our lives (like a kind of pop culture wart or ingrown toenail that pops up every couple of years), we might as well try to understand one of the biggest mysteries of Entourage: Just how does the show get all of these famous people in to play themselves during filming? In an interview with Uproxx's Mike Ryan, Armie Hammer -- who plays himself as an asshole who is also the ex of Vinnie's current girlfriend Emily Ratajkowski -- admits that he wasn't even supposed to be in the movie originally.
I think the way it works with the cameos on Entourage is they basically sent out mass emails, "Can anybody show up? Please? Just show up. Help us!," kind of thing. I actually know Jeremy Piven and he's like, "Hey, dude, are you going to be around on Tuesday?" I was like, "Yeah, I'm an out of work actor, I'm around all the time. I have nothing else to do." He's like, "You want to shoot a day on Entourage?" I'm like, "sure!"For more information, check out the rest of the very delightful interview (which also includes Hammer's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. costar Henry Cavill). For Entourage-related tears over the presence of a "show business satire" that confirms all of the worst impulses of the industry, please watch several episodes of BoJack Horseman and cry accordingly.
Just Kids, Patti Smith's gorgeous 2010 memoir about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe is heading to television.
Showtime announced today that Smith would be adapting the National Book Award-winning tale of their fortuitous meeting as starving artists in 1960s New York City and their following three decades together as friends, lovers and creative partners, into a limited series.
Smith will be a showrunner on the series and is co-writing the script with Penny Dreadful creator John Logan. From the sounds of it, the series will stray slightly from the book.
In a statement Smith said, "A limited series on Showtime will allow us to explore the characters more deeply, enabling us to develop stories beyond the book and allow a measure of unorthodox presentation. The medium of a television limited series offers narrative freedom and a chance to expand upon the themes of the book."
Meanwhile, the prolific Smith has another memoir, M Train, due in October.
Everything's coming up Patti, y'all.
Pharrell's deep love of sci-fi and space is well-documented -- after all he named his band/production duo Neptunes, his record label Star Trak and his other band, um, N*E*R*D* In June, he told Today's Savannah Guthrie that he was obsessed with Carl Sagan's show Cosmos and required a framed photo of him in his dressing rooms.
He was serious. The Smoking Gun acquired his 2015 tour rider, which lists his request for a photo of the famed astronomer not once but twice. Among his other essentials: Nilla Wafers, alkaline water, "super cold sodas" and beef stew with carrot and potatoes (but "grass fed beef only if available, otherwise no beef). Pharrell does not fuck around.
While this is all fine and good, this story is totally burying the lede: The potential discovery of how Pharrell appears to be permanently 26 years old, even though dude is 42.
Listed among the Pedialyte and Kettle One vodka is Pharrell's likely fountain of youth: "Cetaphil cleansing wipes and lotion."
Even though Cetaphail has always felt to us like washing your face with sunscreen mixed with lard, we are willing to re-consider if it means we'll be forever Pharrell. Embrace the cosmos. Embrace the Cetaphil.
Living up to your dad's legacy can be daunting. Even more of a burden? Portraying your dad in not only one of the most iconic times in his life, but also one of the most iconic times in recent American history. But O'Shea Jackson Jr., son of Ice Cube, isn't afraid of the challenge. He'll be appearing in Straight Outta Compton, the highly-anticipated biopic about the rise of N.W.A. While the film is set in the late '80s, it couldn't be timelier with the current events and conversations happening right now about racism, police brutality and America's prison-industrial complex. Ahead of the film's release this Friday, O'Shea talks about stepping into his father's shoes, his big screen aspirations, and donning his dad's famous scowl.
How did it come about playing your dad? Did you have to audition?
Oh yeah I definitely had to audition. He brought the idea to me before there was a script and he let me know how big it was and what it means and how I was the perfect man for the job. I've never had any acting experience, so he got me Aaron Speiser, who is Will Smith's acting coach, and I worked with Susan Batson out in New York for a week. Altogether it was about two years of training with coaches and three auditions with screen tests before I got the part. My dad made sure that I went through the audition process and went through all those hoops so I had confidence in myself that I was the perfect man for the job.
Did your dad give you any tips on how to portray him?
Oh yeah, of course he gave me tips. He would call me everyday because during some of the film he was shooting Ride Along 2. He would call me and we would talk about what scene I was filming that day and where his head was in real time [back then] so that I could use that to help make the story more authentic. But as far as him being around or what it was like having to portray him, that wasn't weird at all. That was the fun part. It was fun to see him bug out. Because he and Dre never got to see N.W.A. perform and the rest of the cast and I murdered it in their eyes.
The real thing he wanted me to get out of it was to not have him frowning all the damn time. You know that's his look but it almost dehumanizes him because people feel like they can't talk to him, that they can't approach him, you know? So I wanted to show what made it appear, what made it so deep, what made it what it is.
In the movie Alexandra Shipp plays your mom. What was that like, shooting scenes where you're supposed to be falling in love with someone playing your mother?
That was the running joke on set for that whole shooting week. I just kept telling myself that's not my mom in the movie -- that's my wife in the movie. Or an actress that plays a little kid's mom [and the kid] just happens to be me. That was another weird thing in and of itself -- that I get to see me as a baby in the movie.
I read that you studied script writing in college. Did that help you with your acting?
I went to school at USC for screenwriting -- I'm a Trojan at heart. I still have to finish up there. But screenwriting is my first love. I can't shake it, you know? I see stories in everything. I'm constantly trying to think of stuff. And being able to act, I feel like being a screenwriter has helped me as an actor because I feel like I know what goes into a good movie, and what people need when and where.
What type of acting roles are you hoping to land in the future?
Oh man. Don't give me the "Cube's too old for this so lets get his son" roles. I definitely would want to show my versatility as an actor. I'm happy to start off with a drama like this. I would like to further into drama and later maybe explore comedy. I never want to hold myself into being a one trick pony. I want to show my versatility and my range.
A theme of the film is the tension between police and the black community, a topic that we're dealing with a lot several decades later.
There is nothing new under the sun -- this has been happening before N.W.A., this is happening after N.W.A. What it really is about is that there are certain people in power that abuse the power. They don't use it for righteous reasons. And you know, that is a character flaw. That is entirely in the character of who is holding the power and what they do with it. And through non-violent protests N.W.A. was able to kind of take the wool off some people's eyes and let them be aware of this. And when it comes to current events, Straight Outta Compton couldn't have more perfect timing.
Do you think music today can have the same effect as N.W.A. had in changing the national dialogue?
N.W.A., they were the mass to start the fire. They were the straw to stir the drink. The original. No one was saying the things that they were saying at the time. It was almost a death wish, entertainment-wise. They are going to shut you down, they are going to wait outside your shows and all that. But the fact that it was non-violent protests, the authorities couldn't do much. So there is definitely the possibility -- I wouldn't say that anything is impossible. But a lot of the music today is repeating itself. I feel like some people don't necessarily want to bring it up because they feel some type of way. They honestly don't know. All they can tell you is "yes, police are beating up black people." They really don't have anything to say about it. But there are plenty of artists today that can help move the people.
We were lucky to have had your father and N.W.A speaking out about injustice in the '80s and '90s and since then, I think there's been a tendency to assume some of those issues are in the past. But then you see young people getting shot for no apparent reason and it's like, Okay this is actually going on again. This isn't just something that happened before I was born. Maybe this is my reality and not my history.
Yeah, I won't say things aren't better [than before] but they are not good. They are not alright and not everything is tranquil. I mean, if you don't think racism is going on in the real world, I got something for you. I got videos you can see. There are plenty of cases you can read. It's there right in front of peoples' faces but some people choose not to acknowledge its existence.
People see what they want to see.
N.W.A. brought these issues to the forefront and people called their music violent. But really it was just like, "No, this is our reality. We're speaking about what is literally happening."
It's stuff that they would see every day outside of their window or walking home from school in my father's case. They felt like people had no right to tell them not to talk about their lives or what they saw every day. The struggle is real. A lot of people didn't want to hear that from N.W.A. but their attitude prevailed. The flame hasn't burned out. That's why N.W.A. was a super group. You get these lions together who think bigger than music and they all had great minds.