Jimi Hendrix x Annie Trailers

Andre 3000 will be starring as Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming biopic, All Is By My Side. It will debut at South by Southwest which kicks off March 7th.

Quvenzhané Wallis will appear alongside Jamie Foxx in the remake of Annie. The film hits theaters Christmas Day.

MMF Celebrates Black History in Music, Feb. 27

February 28th marked a day the rise of a singing superstar, Alicia Keys, and another artist solidified their acting career.

Alicia Keys took home 5 Grammys at the in 2002 at the 44th Annual Award show for her debut album, Songs In A Minor. Her Grammys that night included: Best New Artist, Best R&B Album Song of the Year, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, and Best R&B Song all for ‘Fallin’.

Songs In A Minor has sold over 6.2 million copies in the U.S. and over 12 million worldwide. Her Grammy wins in 2002 made her the second woman to win 5 in one night.

Jamie Foxx was nominated in Both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the 77th Academy Awards on February 27, 2005. He was the 10th actor to be nominated in both categories and took home Best Actor in a Leading role for his starring role in Ray.

In December of 2005, Jamie released his 2nd studio album, Unpredictable, and it peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 with over 500,000 copies sold.

MMF Flashback — Kanye West, The College Dropout

MMF Flashback --- Kanye West, The College Dropout

The Louis Vuitton backpack wearing producer by the name of Kanye West released his debut album, The College Dropout, on February 10, 2004. Who ever knew that he would be who he is today. With 7 albums (8 if you count Cruel Summer) and 21 Grammys under his belt there’s no denying that Kanye has become a musical genius in his own right.

The College Dropout was a recording process of 4 years and his first single, ‘Through The Wire,’ a Chaka Khan sample, was released in September of 2003. He followed up with hits ‘Slow Jamz’ (with Twista & Jamie Foxx), ‘All Falls Down,’ ‘Jesus Walks,’ and ‘The New Workout Plan.’

It has been named by Time and Rolling Stone as one of the best albums of all time. It’s also his best selling album with 3.1 million sold in the states and over 4 million sold worldwide.

He received 10 Grammy nominations at the 47Annual show (2005) and won _ of those two of which were for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Song, ‘Jesus Walks.’

As for the sound of Kanye over the years he’s always been an artist to push limits and has been a controversial figure for years. People have their negative thoughts about Kanye, but I respect the fact that he just does not care what people think. Yes at times he should think before he speaks in public settings, but as an artist its a shame that those two side of him conflict with each other.

As for Kanye’s work post-The College Dropout my favorites are a tie between Graduation and Yeezus. If I had to pick ONE of those I’d go with Graduation.

Here’s my top 5 from Kanye’s, The College Dropout:

Yes two of those tracks aren’t ‘songs,’ but Kanye’s skits throughout the whole album (and his future albums) is as real as it gets. To be a recent college grad it’s like you went to school to get a degree, but now you have nothing to show for your ‘success’ and you’re working under someone who never went to college. Oh the circle of life. 10 years later I see and can understand why it’s album is a staple for any Hip-Hop head and beyond.

Check out Billboards story, Kanye West’s ‘The College Dropout’: An Oral History.

Then & Now Thursday (V.4) — Music to Acting

There are not many artists that have successfully made the transition from music to acting and vice versa. I will be highlighting those that have and discussing a few that have not lived up to the hype.

LL Cool J began his career in the mid-80s with his debut album, Radio. He was known for his Kangols, tone body and his signature of licking his lips. He was also one of the first rappers to merge R&B and Hip Hop and got a lock of flack for it during his time, but now that trend is a hit. Over the course of his 20+ year career he has released 8 studio albums and 2 compilation albums in 96 and 09 and has won 2 Grammys along the way.

His acting career began in simultaneously with that of his rapping career and starred in minor roles and took his talents to TV starring in the show, In The House, in 1999. He has gone on to appear in several other movies such as: Deep Blue See, In Too Deep, Deliver Us From Eva, Rollerball, S.W.A.T., and others. He returned back to TV as a star on the NCIS spin-off, N.C.I.S.: Los Angeles and has been there since 2009. He’s also been the Grammy host for the past 3 years as well as the Grammy Nominee show host.

Jamie Foxx began his career doing stand up in the late 80s and landed his first huge role on In Living Color in 1991 where he remained for 4 years. After his time with In Living Color he released his debut album, Peep This. He did not dwell so much on the album and went back to acting and appeared on TV shows and movies here and there before landing his own show, The Jamie Foxx Show in 1996. During that time he appeared in movies such as: Booty Call, Any Given Sunday, Player’s Club, Ali, and more.

The turning point in Foxx’s career was his starring role in Ray in 2004. This role rejuvenated his career in a way making him more assessable to roles other than comedy. He won an Academy Award for his role and released his second album, Unpredictable, that same year. Foxx juggled both music and acting and won a Grammy alongside Kanye West for ‘Golddigger’ and won a Grammy for his solo work in 2010 for his hit ‘Blame It’ featuring T-Pain. Foxx is currently back in the acting world and recently starred in the hit, controversial movie, Django Unchained and will be appearing in upcoming movies The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Annie, and Horrible Bosses 2.

Grammy award winner, Will Smith, is more so best known for his show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, than anything else in his career. Aside from acting, Will was a ver popular rapper in the 80s becoming the first to win in the first Grammy award in the Rap category alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff in 1988. His acting career has him 4 Golden Globe and 2 Academy Award nominations. He’s starred in movies: Independence Day, Enemy of the State, Wild Wild West, Ali, I Am Legend, and more. He starred alongside his son Jaden, in the Pursuit of Happyness and starred in movie series Bad Boys and Men In Black.

There are other artists who have done the transition successfully such as Jennifer Hudson,Tupac, Aaliyah, Tyrese, Ludacris Justin Timberlake, etc.  Aaliyah and Tupac’s lives were both cut short, but they both were very impressive on the big screen and musically.

You even have the Disney stars that are doing too bad for themselves such as Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and Miley Cyrus.I have realized that the transition either works or it doesn’t and it’s more so men having better chances with landing roles than women.

Beyoncé is one to me that he acting chops don’t seem as organic and natural. She’s such a perfectionist it seems like she tries really really hard, some times too hard. I’m not saying that all the movies she’s been in were horrible, but I think that she’s a better performer than she is an actress. All of the movie roles she’s taken on has been with her singing primarily minus Austin Powers in Goldmember and Obsessed.

There’s more, but those were just some that always stood out to me that could juggle successfully both acting (TV/Movie) and singing.