*Common’s upcoming Audible Original “Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life” premieres tomorrow, August 4, and we have an exclusive clip for your listening enjoyment.
The audio-only musical narrative, which was recorded over the course of three nights of live performances at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre in New York (in January), invites listeners to experience an intimate expression of art, culture and verse.
Have a listen to a selection from Common’s “Bluebird Memories” below.
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via press release:
In a performance that combines the personal and poetic with the literary and the lyrical, Grammy, Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe-winning artist Common, spins something entirely new and bold, for both his old-school fans and those new to one of hip hop’s most essential voices. This is Bluebird Memories, part of Audible’s Words + Music that blends storytelling, music, and performance to create a one-of-a-kind listening experience.
Written and conceived by Common with Awoye Timpo and NSangou Njikam, originally recorded live at The Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City (January 10 – 12, 2020), and backed by a world-class band including special guest appearance by Robert Glasper and ensemble of vocalists, Bluebird Memories tracks Common’s intimate journey from childhood to manhood. At its heart, serving as both an open letter to his estranged father, and a personal meditation on the quest for greater self-understanding, self-worth, and connection to the world that surrounds him.
As a young artist, introduced to the work of literary icons from James Baldwin and Gwendolyn Brooks to Rakim and Melle Mel, Common would grow to use their works as motivation and a high-water mark for what would become his life in words. In a performance that recounts stories about growing up in Chicago, discovering hip hop, longing for a consistent father, and his awakening into Black consciousness, the evolution of Common, as son, as man, artist and activist—is all here—unpacked and laid bare.
At just under two hours, Bluebird Memories is constantly in motion, soaring with emotion and pulsing with raw vitality. Seamlessly blending, stretching, and playing with forms, Common slides between poetry and candid conversation, kicks into one of his classic tracks, and backs out into a moment of nearly silent reflection. For those hip-hop heads, the treat of hearing Common bounce between bars of his own self-admitted cringey party raps, to rapturously reciting classic hip hop’s most revered verses is a joy to behold. (Yes, bumping human beatbox included). In a performance that calls forth the spirit and legacy of so many artists, thinkers, and heroes who informed both his artistry and personal philosophy, Common invites listeners to experience him in his totality. A finely tuned instrument capable of conveying a sweeping breadth of power, range and tone. Listen to a modern icon deliver at the top of his craft.
— COMMON (@common) August 1, 2020
Common said, “I’m excited to be a part of this fresh, new concept with Audible. We are taking a journey through my music catalog in a way that I’ve never presented before. This is going to be a great experience for the live audience and for listeners.”
Common’s Audible Original “Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life” premieres August 4.
Jennifer Hudson’s Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Pushed Back to Summer 2021
*The Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson, has been pushed back to summer 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second time the film has been delayed.
“Respect” is now moving from Jan. 15, 2021 to Aug. 13, 2021.
We previously reported… Hudson has spoken out about the biopic, noting that she shared a special connection with Franklin. Before her passing in 2018, the music icon gave Hudson her blessing to play her on the big screen.
Directed by Broadway veteran Liesl Tommy, the film also stars Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Marc Maron, Kimberly Scott, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige.
Months after filming on the project wrapped, Hudson said this of Franklin: “I still feel like she’s in me, I really do. I just hope to meet her requests. You think you respect Aretha, but once you see the film and you learn her story, you can’t help but to have a newfound respect for her.”
She also had this to say about her personal connection with the Queen of Soul, “I still have the text chains, so every now and then I look back at them. The last time I spoke to her was Aug. 8, [2018,] and I can honestly say she sang until her last breath.”
In related news, filming on National Geographic’s Genius: Aretha starring Cynthia Enrivo has been halted after a background actor tested positive for COVID-19. The program is slated to debut in early 2021.
When asked about the competing projects in an interview earlier this month, Hudson dropped some subtle shade, saying “I know that Aretha was adamant that [her life] be a film. If it’s not a film, it’s nothing. I’m just honored that she picked me to play her.”
Wayne Brady Demands Social Media Platforms Do Better at Protecting Underage Girls [VIDEO]
*Wayne Brady is calling out social media networks to take more responsibility in protecting minors.
Brady appeared on “The Talk”, and expressed his concern about platforms like Facebook and Instagram making it easy for perverted men to send inappropriate private messages to underage users.
Brady recalled the experience of his 17-year-old daughter Maile, and how he and his ex-wife Mandie have been monitoring her social media accounts, ET reports.
“Mandie monitors Maile’s Instagram and social media because even when she’s near-grown—’cause she’ll be 18 in February, you are still a child, so we have to monitor that,” he said. “And these grown men see her dancing and whatnot, and they just slide in.”
— Wayne Brady (@WayneBrady) October 19, 2020
Brady said Mandie once pretended to be their daughter and interacted with an older man.
“Mandie got on the line with one of them and was, you know, texting back and forth and he was talking slick, until he realized that it was her,” Brady said. “And then she’s like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ And he’s like, ‘I just broke up with my girlfriend, and I just saw her.’ That doesn’t mean anything. You tell that to your cellmate when we put you in jail. You can talk all about your post-breakup relationship then.”
Brady then called for social media companies to do better at implementing tools for reporting and removing child sex predators.
“You can try to block a person’s account and report them for hate speech… you can report them for trying to be someone else, but in order to really get to them to say, hey, this person is saying something damning or showing images to a young woman or even to a woman who gets a salacious pic, all of the tap dancing you need to do to get that person reported shouldn’t happen,” Brady said. “If this is what social media is, make the tools available to deal with these reprehensible people.”
Scroll up and hear/watch Wayne Brady tell it via the clip above.
Tune in to “The Talk” weekdays at 2 p.m. ET/PT on Global.
Funk Flex Calls T.I. a ‘Snitch’ Over His Crime Stoppers Video
*T.I. just can’t escape accusations that he’s a snitch.
The rapper previously clapped back at critics of his appearance in an old Crime Stoppers commercial. In the clip, he says, “People call me Tip, but this is about another tip that can help our mothers, our sisters, our brothers and our fathers help get the perpetrators who commit crimes against them on the street.” He then provides a tip hotline and ensures callers identity will remain anonymous.
Funkmaster Flex Tip relived the moment when he mentioned the clip on Monday.
In an Instagram post, Flex used the infamous Crime Stoppers video to insist the T.I. is a snitch. Check out his post below.
View this post on Instagram
I have the utmost respect for @troubleman31 !!!! His record making ability is stellar! He’s a positive brother who does everything for his community! He also helps others any chance he gets! BUT PLEASE DONT TRY TO PAINT A NARRATIVE IN SOCIAL MEDIA TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION THAT AINT TRUE! PEEPED ALL YOUR SLICK SOCIAL MEDIA TALK AS YOU TRIED TO ROCK PEOPLE TO SLEEP BEHIND THE SCENES! YOU HAVE AN OPINION AND I GAVE MY OPINION OF YOU! YOU DOING @crimestoppersatlanta AND TESTIFYING IN COURT / TRIAL! WHAT WOULD U CALL THE NEXT MAN THAT DID THAT? COMMENTS OFF! #JustMyOpinion
“Hahahah! Rappers that cooperate / testify for the police talk the loudest in social media!” he wrote on social media, Yahoo reports. “Why do informants always wanna have a voice after they cooperate? @ A rapper u think is an informant?”
Flex even referred to him as “McGruff the Crime Dog” for the Atlanta Crime Stoppers commercial.
T.I. has yet to respond to Flex but he addressed the commercial while on Instagram Live over the summer, saying he has never offered information to law enforcement.
“Aye, and I’ma address this sh*t,” T.I began, while referencing his 2007 gun charge, for which he faced 20 years but served one year and a day. “I’ma address this sh*t too. All y’all n*ggas on there talkin’ ’bout a Crime Stoppers commercial and all that. Look, man. If I can get from up under 20 years for doing a drop, n*gga, you can’t convince no n*gga to snitch. If he was gon’ snitch, he was gon’ do that sh*t when he woke up, whether he watched the commercial or not.”
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