Telling anyone's story can be tricky because it can go wrong in a number of ways. From focusing on the wrong details or overlooking something that viewers were looking forward to. When the subject is someone like Jimi Hendrix, who few really knew, it gets that much more difficult. Though he is well regarded as one of the greatest guitarist ever, his career really only spanned 4 years. That gives you a specific time period to focus on, but it also demands that you show why he deserves all the acclaim in huge chunks.


Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson star in No Good Deed, the tale of what happens when a criminal escapes from prison and finds his way into an unsuspecting woman's home. We've seen this story before but with a full African-American cast, and no Tyler Perry involvement, it feels like a fresh idea and a worthy watch. Plus the stars make for pretty great eye candy, which I think the production team knew would be good for the big screen.


I was first introduced to Jhené Aiko on Kendrick Lamar's "Growing Apart." Her voice is gentle and somewhat tinged with a sultriness that often encroaches on cutting aggression. Aiko understands where to emphasize her voice, wrapping it around the lyrics to achieve a hypnotic mix of hip hop and R&B. Souled Out, the debut from the singer is made up of mid-temp melodies that emerge as freestyles, rather than songs. This is not a bad thing because Aiko has stated that her process of recording music is one of letting it unfold rather than rushing.

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Originality is such a hard thing to come by these days that it’s no wonder you’ll see so many movies, TV shows and music that look and sound the same.
 When is the last time you heard a song or movie that you couldn’t compare to something else prior? Probably never. That doesn’t mean that originality or creativity has died, but just means that people have a brand new way of seeing things. One of the greatest movies of all times, Star Wars is often compared to Star Trek. They have forums of geeks and nerds sighting the familiarities between these two, I’ll save you the time and say that I’ve seen all the Star Wars series and none of the Star Trek franchise despite their many TV shows and spin-off movies but I'm aware of how they tend to overlap each other in some aspects.


Blacc Hollywood is the fifth studio album from Wiz Khalifa - the rapper known for creating chill songs about getting high and living the high life. Being more of a fan of his mixtapes because he seems to offer more impactful, heavy-hitting rhymes on those, listening to Blacc Hollywood solidified my opinion even further.


Fresh off the stage of the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, performing alongside Beyoncé, Alvester Martin—dancer, singer, and songwriter has been accustomed to a dim limelight for many years as a back up dancer for several top celebrities.  But it’s the bright spotlight he better get ready for!


 
 

 

 


I was first introduced to Jhené Aiko on Kendrick Lamar's "Growing Apart." Her voice is gentle and somewhat tinged with a sultriness that often encroaches on cutting aggression. Aiko understands where to emphasize her voice, wrapping it around the lyrics to achieve a hypnotic mix of hip hop and R&B. Souled Out, the debut from the singer is made up of mid-temp melodies that emerge as freestyles, rather than songs. This is not a bad thing because Aiko has stated that her process of recording music is one of letting it unfold rather than rushing.

Read more: Souled Out - Jhené Aiko album review


Blacc Hollywood is the fifth studio album from Wiz Khalifa - the rapper known for creating chill songs about getting high and living the high life. Being more of a fan of his mixtapes because he seems to offer more impactful, heavy-hitting rhymes on those, listening to Blacc Hollywood solidified my opinion even further.

Read more: Blacc Hollywood - Wiz Khalifa album review


Having reviewed Before I Self Destruct back in 2009 and rewarding it with a PARLÉ, I hesitated to do a review of Animal Ambition - primarily because for most of these last 5 years, I've found myself listening to earlier 50 Cent cuts from earlier 50 albums as opposed to anything that was featured on Before I Self Destruct. Nevertheless, it can be argued that Animal Ambition is better than Before I Self Destruct for one reason and one reason alone - 50 stays true to the style that made him popular - an effective combination of aggressive hubris and verbal onslaughts on anyone that finds this hubris overdone and over talked about. 50 noted in Complex Magazine that the album is about an "untamed desire to win...prosperity, ambition and entrepreneurial energy from a distorted perspective." Hmm, that about partially sums up this 11 track collection (14 if you count the 3 songs on the deluxe edition).

Read more: Animal Ambition - 50 Cent album review


In 1980, the comic book writers Chris Claremont and John Byrne co-wrote a two part issue of The Uncanny X Men entitled, Days of Future Past.   This story arc envisioned a nightmare future in which the world was ruled by a race of robots named Sentinels who had turned on humanity and enslaved the world after being created to hunt and apprehend mutants.  The story of Days of Future Past, involved an elder version of the X Men character Kitty Pryde being sent back three decades to erase this nightmare world from existence by enlisting the help of the second X Men to prevent the assassination that caused this future.

Read more: X-Men: Days of Future Past movie review


It's been five years since Mariah Carey's Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, an album that many music critics panned as one of her most interesting, filled with a synergetic flow of cuts that were uncanny Mariah and the most consistent since 2005's The Emancipation of Mimi. On this, her fourteenth release entitled, Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse, Carey returns true to form perhaps overtaking much of the criticism that she's been yesterday's news since the release of 1999's Rainbow that contained, "Heartbreaker." It can be argued that Carey has never lost her touch - the magnetic voice, impressive delivery and beauty. What this album does is reinforce the notion that the superstar diva remains a fierce R&B and pop cutting edge singer who first enchanted the world with her five-octave glass shattering, whirlwind vocal style back in 1990.

Read more: Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse - Mariah Carey album review


Any posthumous release is tricky for two reasons primarily: that producers working on the album don't tarnish the legacy of the artist who's departed and that most of the original work is left in place for the vocals to shine through. When Sony released Michael in 2010, it was met with much angst from both critics and fans alike as a mere hodge podge of demos, outtakes, cutting room floor looped tracks that Jackson never wanted to unveil to the world and the extreme disapproval about whether Jackson's vocals actual inhabited some of the songs. Xscape, the second posthumous release is nowhere near the grab bag displayed on Michael. In fact, by most accounts it could be called a cohesively put together compilation that in effect revives Michael, putting him front and center in the midst of an ever-evolving music scene. A collection of 8 songs, Xscape, features contemporized demos that Jackson recorded throughout his career. Each provides context into the overall theme of the album - a voyage away from all that is wrong with the world. From "Love Never Felt So Good," a glistening performance of Michael's airy and funky vocals amidst an impressive assortment of sounds to the memoirish title track.

Read more: Xscape - Michael Jackson album review


The latest Jason Derulo album, Talk Dirty, is chock full of party anthems and “get hype” tracks. The album starts off with Jason’s new smash hit, "Talk Dirty" (featuring 2 Chainz), which has spent the last sixteen weeks near the top of Billboard’s “The Hot 100” and currently sits at number four. Derulo has brought in many other popular Hip-Hop artists to collaborate on this record, including Snoop Dogg, TYGA, Kid Ink, and Pitbull. 

Read more: Talk Dirty - Jason Derülo album review


Whether you remember him for his cool demeanor and corn row braids or his perfectly chiseled body he displayed in the video for hit song, "How does it feel?", one thing is clear: you cannot mention neo-soul without mentioning D'Angelo.

Read more: Live At The Jazz Café, London - D'Angelo album review

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