Beatz & Lyrics Show


This Thanksgiving In Theaters: Tom Hanks Asks, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (Trailer)

Best. Casting. EVER! Get your issue of tissues, because the sweet memories of Mister Rogers alone might bring a tear to your eyes. Just imagine what is gonna happen when the Oscar-winning Tom Hanks brings him back to life on the big screen.

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor.
– Sony Pictures Entertainment

Good story to tell. Guaranteed good ticket for a film to tug at the heartstrings.

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The Story Behind Little Brother’s Debut Album, “The Listening” (Documentary)

When you hear them together, it sounds right…

This is how dope documentaries get done! Okay, so at 11 minutes it’s more like a mini-doc… but just right. Frame the story as a ‘making of’ but drop all kinds of gems and jewels of history (group and Hip-Hop) along the way.

Started in a college dorm room by a group of North Carolina Central students in 2001, the Justus League collective and offshoot trio Little Brother defined the sound of Durham Hip-Hop for years to come, constructing a style altogether distinct from everything to the north and south. This level of innovation turned heads with some of Hip-Hop’s biggest names, and the members of Little Brother (9th Wonder, Big Pooh and Phonte) have gone on to work with superstars like Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Questlove, who appears in the documentary.
– N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

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Activism: James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass’ “What To The Slave Is 4th Of July?” Speech (Video)

Yeah. Here are some real ‘fireworks’ for the 4th for y’all. The historic, convicting words of Abolitionist Frederick Douglass; brought to life by living legend James Earl Jones.

In a Fourth of July holiday special, we hear the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, he gave one of his most famous speeches, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” He was addressing the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society. This is actor James Earl Jones reading the speech during a performance of historian Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book, “Voices of a People’s History of the United States.” He was introduced by Zinn.
– Democracy Now!


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Politics: Hasan Minhaj On Malaysia, 1MDB, And Goldman Sachs (Video)

That’s right Chicago. Your parking meters are Muslim.

WTF??? Oh, it’s Hasan doing another Patriot Act ep. Haha!

So, it’s time to laugh, laugh some more and learn something from stand-up ‘Professor’ Minhaj!

On this segment from the latest episode of Patriot Act, Hasan examines the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund scandal in Malaysia, in which former prime minister Najib Razak has been accused of funneling millions of dollars from the country into his personal bank accounts. Traditionally used as a means of economic diversification by countries reliant on a single industry, sovereign wealth funds have come under scrutiny as financial organizations like Goldman Sachs and corrupt politicians have taken advantage of these large, mostly unregulated pools of money for their own gain. While Goldman Sachs continues to profit off of sovereign wealth funds in other countries, the bank is currently being investigated for its role in the 1MDB scandal, which could have lasting implications on the world of finance.
– Patriot Act

Where politics, pools of money, and worldwide finance intersect… There will be global scandal and damage. How can we laugh about stuff like that? Dunno, but Hasan always has a way doing it every time, doesn’t he?


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Watch “25 Years Of Ill Communication” On The Beastie Boys (Documentary)

Nice documentary “Still Ill”… 25 Years after the release of “Ill Communication” by the Beastie Boys.

‘Still Ill: 25 Years of the Beastie Boys’ “Ill Communication”‘ features Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz diving deep into the making of the band’s epic 1994 album – and, arguably, one of their high points as artists and generational touchstones. The 15-minute documentary tracks the Beastie Boys’ rejuvenation in the years after the release of 1989’s Paul’s Boutique – now considered a masterpiece but at the time a commercial flop – first with 1992’s Check Your Head and ultimately with Ill Communication, which produced the epic single and music video “Sabotage” and returned them to playing arenas.

Featuring interviews with Diamond and Horovitz from this March in Austin, Texas — as well as new interviews with keyboardist Mark “Money Mark” Nishita and producer Mario Caldato and rarely-seen 1990s footage of the band – Still Ill focuses heavily on late Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch and his contributions to Ill Communication. Through footage and the words of his friends, the documentary captures Yauch’s journey into activism, which would blossom with the Tibetan Freedom Concerts later in the decade, as well as his famous denunciation of misogyny in Hip-Hop on the single “Sure Shot”: “I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end.”

Accompanying the video is the long-form audio documentary of the same name, exclusive to Amazon Music: a 40+ minute deep dive featuring longer interviews with Horovitz and Diamond as well as six full songs from Ill Communication. The extended audio documentary is available to hear on Amazon Music for any Amazon Prime member, or any subscriber to Amazon Music Unlimited. Just ask Alexa to “play Still Ill” on Amazon Music today.

– Amazon Music


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The Jetsons Predicted Many Technologies Of Today… And The Future. But What About The Impact? (Video)

Yeah, the moving walkways are ‘life’ at the airport, but where are the snarky housekeeper ‘Rosy’ robots and fold-up cars? We ought to have them on deck by now. Looking at you ‘Jetsons.’ Hahaaa!

The Jetsons’ futuristic lifestyle accurately predicted our everyday life decades before the 21st century’s arrival. What else can we learn from the cartoon about the future of artificial intelligence?
– AJ+

Of course, a future formed with increasing AI is not all giggles…

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Presenting Danny Clinch, One Of The Architects of “Illmatic” (Video)

When even the photographer knows it’s a classic… it’s a classic, son. Danny Clinch, visual storyteller, speaks on another storyteller, Nas, and his seminal work “Illmatic.”

The day of Nas’ “Illmatic” shoot, photographer Danny Clinch was given a simple run of show by the teenage emcee. “Let’s just walk around my neighborhood. My friends are gonna be there. We’re gonna sit in the park, drink gin and juice and smoke blunts. And you’ll photograph it.” The resulting images are nearly as iconic as the music itself. As #IllmaticXXV approaches, Clinch himself recalls the moment.
– Mass Appeal


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Allah B Speaks On John Gotti (Video)

Man. A Gotti going home party. Imagine it. Wait… don’t imagine… watch and listen to Allah B tell you about it. Gangster. Literally! Allah B and John G were gangster in the realest way.

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Allah B, BRonald & Brother Henry Speak On Bumpy Johnson And Lucky Luciano (Video)

Interesting chat. The realness of the barber shop but at a higher level. As we should always, listen to the elders’ relate their stories. There is wisdom in that talk. Always.

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‘Blade’ Paved The Way For All The MCU Blockbusters That Would Follow (Video)

Not everyone, but many folks ignore or outright diss the ‘Blade’ contribution to what Marvel has offered the movie world.

(Looking at you, too, ‘Deadpool’‘Blade: Trinity’ was my fave of the series, but you take shots at it. Hannibal King foreverrr!)

Check out this discussion clip giving the props that Marvel’s first Black hero [before all the #WakandaForever stuff] movie deserves.

And yes, ‘Black Panther’ is a far better movie than anything in the ‘Blade’ franchise. Not the point though. Just saying it before the haters do.


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Presenting Miss Info, One Of The Architects of “Illmatic” (Video)

The 5 mics was right… There’s no person that this can’t touch.

YES! Speak on it, Shortie.

“It did not feel like something that was created in a boardroom. It felt like it was happening… like a storm.” The legendary Miss Info remembers penning her storied “5 mic” Illmatic review for ‘The Source’ under her “Shortie” moniker before the album was out in ’94. That moment changed two industries forever: Hip-Hop and Hip-Hop journalism.
– Mass Appeal

You did not think she was just a blogger, did you? Naaaah, son. Miss Info was Miss ‘It Thang’ in several circles back in the day. And she called it on “Illmatic,” declaring the LP worthy of a rare rating of 5 (out of 5) mics in THE Hip-Hop magazine of the era. Shortie aka Miss Info had the ear, demonstrating that early on, and earned the juice going forward. With such stripes in the game, you need to listen to her speak on this. Kind of ‘made’ a career for herself and Nassir.


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Presenting L.E.S., One Of The Architects of “Illmatic” (Video)

Yeah, Nassir doing a live performance of singles from the Hip-Hop classic LP he birthed goes way beyond ‘Mass Appeal’… but the channel has it covered. Especially with post-event commentary from one the “Illmatic” LP’s architects, L.E.S.

“Man, when I heard he was performing it… I was actually like, ‘What is going on?’” L.E.S. remembers the night Nas immortalized ‘Illmatic’ in the annals of live music when he played the album at The Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra as his backing band.
– Mass Appeal


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Presenting Jungle, One Of The Architects of “Illmatic” (Video)

He was like Frank Sinatra… a modern-day Frank Sinatra… I was in awe the whole time.

Up next, we hear from another of The Architects of IllmaticJungle. We’ve heard Nas actually shout his brother Jungle out on a record or two. Very interesting to hear what he has to say regarding the 25th birthday of the classic “Illmatic” LP.

Nas lost a backpack full of Illmatic rhymes in the midst of the recording process on the way to DJ Premier’s studio. His biological brother and collaborator, Jungle, remembers the bizarre sequence of events that followed—and much more…
Mass Appeal


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Presenting Faith Newman, One Of The Architects of “Illmatic” (Video)

We certainly felt that this was a classic in the making…

Wow. An actual A&R. You see kids ‘A&R’ stands for ‘Artist & Repertoire’… a term from a bygone era of the music business when there were folks (called A&R) whose jobs were to find talent, make them commercially viable (e.g. transform raw talent into something that makes cash registers ring), and act as liaison between the label and the artist all the while. Make no mistake, A&Rs work for the music label. So, while Faith was likely enamored with Nas’ talent from the jump, she had to see DOLLAR SIGNS when she thought of his potential back in the day. She had to BELIEVE in Nas as someone who the Hip-Hop world would willing to spend money – for labels to develop as an artist and marketable ‘product’ AND for fans to buy music and tickets.

How much did she believe in Nas, even BEFORE “Illmatic” was made? Well, she went to Queensbridge to get him back in the day. And… um… you can bet she ‘stood out’ when she did. Moreover, she put herself out there and took on high risk based on her belief in the future G.O.D.M.C.

And here she is, 25 years later, talking about how glad she was that she did.

Faith Newman signed Nas to Columbia Records in the fall of 1991, but even she couldn’t predict the heights he’d be taken to after the release of “Illmatic.” Heights that “probably none of us could imagine.”
Mass Appeal

Indeed. But the streets knew, especially the bootleggers. Turns out Faith has spoken on that before… at length (see link here).


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Presenting Pete Rock, One Of The Architects of “Illmatic” (Video)

We all prayed that this would do well for him… We didn’t know… until it just hit people.

Pete Rock HAD to be part of “Illmatic” (because Hip-Hop history could NOT have unfolded any other way)! And fascinating to learn that Nas had to PUSH Pete to get vocals out of him for the project. Whose world is this? OURS! A Wonderfule Wide World Of Hip-Hop.

…paying homage to “The Architects of Illmatic” with exclusive interviews featuring photographers, producers, writers and members of Nas’ inner circle, including Pete Rock, the subject of today’s clip and the producer of one of the LP’s “signature” songs, “The World Is Yours.” The legendary producer remembers back to when he first heard the lyrics of the classic record. “Your heart just… you just feel it for him. This guy is ahead of his time.” Welcome to #IllmaticXXV Week.
Mass Appeal

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When They See “When They See Us” People Will Really Understand The ‘Central Park Five’ Story (Trailer)

“When They See Us” was conceptualized and co-written by Ava DuVernay for Netflix and it is coming to take hearts and minds and twist them… to make us feel everything the falsely accused (and eventually exonerated) Central Park Five.

Just LOOK at who is attached. The exec producers (Oprah Winfrey, Robert De Niro) all the through to casting (Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Blair Underwood)… they will draw MILLIONS of viewers! We must learn. ALL of us.

Based on a true story that gripped the country, “When They See Us” will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four-part limited series will focus on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series will span 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

“When They See Us” premieres May 31 only on Netflix.

– Netflix

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Presenting Large Professor, One Of The Architects of “Illmatic” (Video)

Yes, Large Professor is right: “Illmatic” has stood the test of time AND Nas is that god on the mic. Nas is nice!

“We’re rocking off the same energy, and it stood the test of time.”
Large Professor reflects on God’s Son’s transformation from rugged youth to internationally renowned writer… and how the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
– Mass Appeal


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Presenting DJ Premier, One Of The Architects of “Illmatic” (Video)

Wow. “Illmatic” turns 25 years old on April 19th. When I realized that, at first, I was like, “Damn. I’m old.” But that seminal Nas project is a classic. Therefore, I’m not old… I’m a classic! Now I can enjoy watching Preemo speak on Nas’ classic LP as one of its architects.

(Don’t come for me. That’s just how it’s gonna be. End of beef. The tips are cooked!)

“Not the one that’s on the album. The one on the album is a remix.” During the making of Illmatic, DJ Premier made one version of “Represent,” then he heard what L.E.S. and Q-Tip did on “Life’s a B*tch” and “One Love” respectively. It sent him right back into the lab.
– Mass Appeal


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The Story Of Why ‘Martin’ Ended (Video)

These Comedy Hype videos we have been coming across are more about the funny than being funny in and of themselves. This one especially. ‘Martin’ is one of the funniest shows to ever have been on TV. Whyyyyy did that good thing have to come to such a lackluster end? Watch.


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Sheila “The Diva” Lewis Remembers Being A “Soul Train” Dancer (Video)

Mm mm mm. The Diva was fine back then, and aging like fine wine! ‘Soul Train’ was so beautiful, so important. And the dancers made the show. Shelia Lewis speaks on her ‘Soul Train’ experience.

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