Monday, July 30, 2012

Dylan Snyder - TV

Dylan Snyder - TV

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
Dylan Snyder
Kicks Out The Laughs!

Dylan Snyder M&H Photo
       The Disney XD Channel broke new ground last season when they premiered a teen martial arts comedy titled “Kickin’ It.” The show’s theme is based on a strip mall martial arts studio which is the worst dojo in the Bobby Wasabi Karate school nationwide chain. To make matters even worse, the entire Bobby Wasabi  nationwide chain is under-performing. The dojo consists of six lovable but whacky teen misfits who make up their competing karate team. The show is now in its second season.

     One of the team members is Milton, an honors student who enrolls in martial arts to defend himself after being bullied for taking French horn lessons. He is oblivious to his own shortcomings and has an awkward sense of confidence. Milton is played by fifteen-year-old Tuscaloosa, Alabama native Dylan Snyder. As a child, Snyder was inducted into acting almost at birth by virtue of the fact that his mom was involved in local theater as was his older sister who took him everywhere she went which included auditions, rehearsals and plays. After early training and some local stage appearances, the family moved to New York where at age nine, Snyder won the role of young Tarzan in Disney’s Broadway hit “Tarzan.” He also secured roles on the soaps “Guiding Light” and “One Life To Live.” Then came the inevitable; the family relocated to Los Angeles. 

L-R Olivia Holt, Dylan Snyder, Christian Jones, Jason Earles, Leo Howard & Mateo Arias. Cast of "Kickin' It"  Disney Photo
      Before we got into the meat of the interview, I had to clear up the difference between regular Disney and XD Disney for those who don’t know. Snyder explains, “The original Disney Channel is more centered toward girls. That’s the way its always been. They wanted to branch out and make a channel specifically for the boys. So the boys would be like oh yeah, well I’m watching this show about skate boarding and the girls don’t have to watch it. XD is more extreme; skate boarding, karate, that sort of thing.”

Dylan on set Disney Photo
     In describing his character Milton, Snyder runs it down, “He is an awkward but very smart kid and very good in school but he just doesn’t connect well with others. The way he does connect and become social is through his karate because he goes to the dojo and he opens up and he becomes really good friends and popular among his clique. He gets confidence from his karate.” Most martial arts shows and movie involve the actors taking theater combat training so they can look authentic fighting on camera. Has Snyder had any real life karate training outside of the studio? He lights up, “I have. Actually tonight I’m going. I haven’t done a whole lot of it but what little I have done, its all for fun. We’re just doing it to keep in shape and make sure that our fights look the best they can.” 

     Of course, you have fans who have difficulty separating the on camera fantasy from real life reality. With that being said, has Snyder run across a nut case that actually expected him to be like his character and karate chop something? He laughs, “Not always. I have gotten one offer for a fight but I turned it down saying no, I’m OK.” This is why Snyder has done his best to project a normal persona for Milton on camera.  As he puts it, “With Milton, I try to make him not a sit-com nerd. I try to make him a normal lid. He’s a geek of sorts, he likes school, he likes normal things he just doesn’t connect well. There are more of those kinds in the world then there are sit-com nerds and that’s what I’m trying to go for.”

L-R: Top; Olivia Holt, Leo Howard, Jason Earles, Bottom: Mateo Arias, Christian Jones and Dylan Snyder Disney Photo
     When it comes to changing things, Snyder even got rid of his southern accent when he went to New York to make the adjustment go easier. Having a New York theater background coupled with the LA TV show has made Snyder a well balanced actor. He is one regular teen dude who likes to hang out with his friends, listen to music and play video games.

Kickin' It airs Monday nights 8:30 PM - 9: PM EST on the Disney XD Channel. 

 © 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm 
(You DID Hear It From Me!)  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wizkid - Music

Wizkid - Music

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist

Nigerian Superstar Takes The World!

Wizkid photo TCD
           The world’s motherland Afrika (yes many of us spell it with a hard “K” for emphasis) is not only the birthplace of humanity tor every race (including Europeans); she is the most bountiful continent on earth for natural resources. This explains why covert governments outside of her borders have colonized her and continue to keep intercontinental strife going so they can exploit and rip-off Mother Afrika’s resources. One of those resources includes natural talent. After all, the basis of every Black American art form i.e., blues, jazz, r&b, funk, soul, jazz, zydeco even country has its roots in the Black Afrikan people who brought their melanin dominate rhythms, beats, vocals, instrumental playing styles and dance moves with them via the inhumane slave trade to the U.S. to create what is now categorized as the music forms mentioned above. 

Wizkid  TCD Records Photo
   American radio, TV and music venues traditionally have been slow to promote talented artists from Afrika but with the emergence of the internet this barrier has been broken down where music lovers in the U.S. have become more aware of the exciting sounds of global music especially from the motherland. As Bob Marley exploded Jamaican reggae around the world, Afrikan artists are now globalizing their sound. Even though he follows a long line of great Afrikan artists, 21yr-old, Lagos, Nigeria native Ayodeji Balogun PKA “Wizkid” has begun a journey to set the world on fire with his brand of music and live performances. 

Wizkid on stage in Dallas, TX  photo ACIRFA
     Wizkid is a complete lady killer package with his handsomely, boyish looks, silky-smooth vocals, dynamic rapping and seductive body moves in a hard-hitting, non-stop fast pace show that keeps the ladies screaming and swooning while scrapping competively with each other to steal a touch of his leg or out stretched hand as he glides past on stage.

Wizzy in concert in Dallas, TX  ACIRFA photo
  The magic and appeal of Wizkid has been validated via major award shows such as “The Music Of Black Origin Awards” held in Glasgow, Scotland where he won the “Best African Act” for 2011. At this year’s 2012 BET Awards, Wizkid shared the “Best International Act Award” with Ghanaian sensation Sarkodie. Wiskid burned a hole in the stage a couple of nights before the BET Awards when he performed at the Pre-BET Awards week International Reception at the classy SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. He was clearly the hottest act of the night and it was an all out scrimmage to get to him for this interview when he came off stage.


Wizzy  file photo
     When asked to describe his music, Wizkid smiles, “Basically, my kind of music is fresh. I listen to all sorts of music so I try to draw inspiration from everything I listen to create a unique sound. I’m kind of like, just create that global music. Even though I’m from Nigeria and may not be speaking what you can understand, at least you can dance and get me. I just create fresh music.” 

Wizzy's current album "Superstar" EME Records
   Wizkid currently has an album released titled "Superstar" on the Empire Mate$ Entertainment label out of Lagos but he is working on a new one. As he explains, “Right now I’m working on an international album. I just got a deal with Konvict Music so right now I’m working with Akon so it’s pretty crazy. I’m going to be dropping my album before the end of the year with a couple of singles and collaborations. For me it’s all about global domination.”

Wizkid  file photo
      What is the music scene like in Nigeria? Wizkid lights up, “Everybody draws inspiration from everything. Everybody listens to everybody. We follow the music in the U.S. and I think that’s why we come two-times stronger because we know this is the competition right there. We’ve got to get our music up to that level. It’s a great movement right now. Afrika is doing her thing. Wizkid is quick to emphasize the love and camaraderie between Afrikan musicians and their countries despite the divisive picture painted to us in the U.S. news sources. He laughs, “A lot of people are saying the Nigerians are flying high, we’re doing our thing but you just have to give honor to what is due. We’re putting in work into what we do, but at the same time, we’re still one Afrika you know. 

Wizkid  facebook photo
    There is no competition like that. We all are just having fun, we’re trying to push our music out there. So for me, it’s not really a competition man. It’s about putting in and letting people know your talent, know what you sound like and know your music. Wizzy, as many fans call him, is currently on a U.S. Canadian Tour through September. Catch him on twitter @wizkid; facebook; wizkidmusic and his website, or

© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm 
(You DID Hear It From Me!)  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

4TH Annual Merge Summit - Event

4Th Annual Merge Summit - Event

Posted by Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist

AUGUST 23-25, 2012

Integrating Faith and Entertainment
At The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles

Weekend-long Program Features Top Entertainers and Industry Executives including Suzanne de Passe, Clint Culpepper, Will Packer, Donnie McClurkin, DeVon Franklin, Kirk Franklin, Essence Atkins, Hezekiah Walker, Debra Langford, Stephen A. Smith, and Rushion McDonald, among others

   Relevé Entertainment has announced that THE MERGE SUMMIT 2012 will be held August 23-25, 2012 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles. 

ALL Photos are from last year's 2011 Merge Summit taken by Maury Phillips, GQ Media & PR/Front Page Firm

L-R: Kevin Frazier, Wendy R. Robinson Deitrick Haddon
   The event, presented in association with partners EMI Music Publishing, Verity Gospel Music Group, and UPSCALE magazine, integrates faith and entertainment and provides a platform for men and women of faith to interface with, learn from and partner with leading executives and talent in the entertainment industry.

L-R: Kenny Lattimore & Lamman Rucker
  "We are so excited to announce that we will return for the fourth year", said SUMMIT Founder and Chair Holly Carter. "Each year, THE MERGE SUMMIT has grown and changed to represent the evolution of the entertainment business, while always remaining true to our original purpose: to give a voice and opportunity for the gifts and talent of creative men and women of faith who have stories to tell".

   Added SUMMIT Co-Founder & Co-Chair Robi Reed: "Each year, I grow more excited with anticipation of the Merge. It has proven to be an invaluable source of information for all who attend. I have no doubt this time around will be even greater."

L-R: Kimberly Elise & Robi Reed
    Gospel superstar Kirk Franklin said, "I'm excited about the Merge Summit ... by partnering faith with media... we are able to cast a wider net, impact culture in unimaginable ways."  

 The multifaceted program, one of the largest entertainment industry events for people of faith, is a complete weekend of education, inspiration and entertainment. Nearly 100 of the industry's top entertainers and executives will lead more than 20 interactive panel discussions, workshops and Master Class sessions, covering the spectrum of music, television, film, radio, creative development, branding, management and new media.

 Confirmed presenters (in alphabetical order), as of July 3, 2012:
 Austyn Biggers, Sr. Director of Development, BET Networks 
Charlie Jordan Brookins, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, BET Networks 
Clint Culpepper, President, Screen Gems 
Debra Langford, Entertainment Industry Veteran 
Detavio Samuels, Executive Vice President/Director of Client Services, GlobalHue 
DeVon Franklin, Vice President of Production, Columbia Pictures 
Endyia Kinney Sterns, Executive Director, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) 
Essence Atkins, Actress (Are We There Yet?, Half & Half, The Smart Guy) 
Harry Lennix, Actor (Man of Steel, A Beautiful Soul, The Matrix, The Five Heartbeats) 
Holly Carter, President/Producer, Relevé Entertainment (A Beautiful Soul, The Gospel) 
Jazzy Jordan, Executive Vice President/General Manager, Verity Gospel Music Group 
Jeff Clanagan, CEO, Code Black Entertainment
Jon Platt, President, North America Creative, EMI Music Publishing 
Kary McHoul, President, Nigel Lythgoe Entertainment
Kelly Griffin, Sr. Director, Music Programming, BET Networks 
Kirk Franklin, Author/Host/Recording Artist 
Mali Music, Recording Artist 
Michael Elliot, Screenwriter (Like Mike, Brown Sugar, Just Wright) 
Myesha Chaney, Kingdomanity Recording Artist 
Niija Kuykendall, Director of Development, Warner Bros. Pictures 
Rob Gibbs, Music Talent Agent, ICM Partners 
Robi Reed, Vice President, Talent and Casting, Original Programming, BET Networks 
Rose Catherine Pinkney, VP, Development and Original Programming, TV Land 
Rushion McDonald, CEO/Executive Producer, NuOpp, Inc. 
Sheldon Candis, Director (LUV)
Sheilah Belle, Editor in Chief, "The Belle Report"
Stephen A. Smith, Journalist/Commentator/Analyst, ESPN Networks 
Suzanne de Passe, Co-Chairman, de Passe Jones Entertainment 
Tirrell Whittley, Principal/CEO, Liquid Soul Media 
Touré Roberts, Pastor, One Church International 
Tracey Edmonds, Producer (Jumping the Broom, New in Town, Soul Food The Series) 
Traci Lynn Blackwell, Vice President, Current Programming, The CW Network 
Will Packer, Producer (Think Like a Man, Obsessed, Stomp The Yard, Takers, This Christmas) 
Wendy Raquel Robinson, Actress/Philanthropist 
Zola Mashariki, Senior Vice President, Production, FOX Searchlight Pictures 

For more information and to register, please visit

© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm 
(You DID Hear It From Me!)  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Danielle Campbell - Movie

Danielle Campbell - Movie

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist

Danielle Campbell
Challenging Medea Under Protection!

Danielle Campbell (Lionsgate Photo)

     She is a relative newcomer on the Hollywood scene but her acting skills says veteran. Seventeen year-old native Chicagoan Danielle Campbell had what some would consider a role of a life time playing the rebellious, poor little rich girl Cindy Needlelman who challenges the authority of none other than the infamous Madea in Tyler Perry’s latest flick, “Madea’s Witness Protection.” 

    Campbell’s passion for acting blossomed at the tender age of ten. She began doing national commercials in her home town and broke into TV as a guest star on the hit drama series “Prison Break,” appearing on seven episodes. This was followed by her first TV Movie leading role as Jessica Olson in the Disney Channel Original Movie “StarStruck.” This was followed with a Disney feature film “Prom.”

Danielle at Madea Premiere (RMM Photo)
  Campbell not only possesses the cutie-pie looks and bubbly, warm personality that attracts like a mega-ton magnet; she has both feet on the ground in terms of the reality of the business in which she works. She was a hands down favorite on the red carpet at the New York Premiere of “Madea’s Witness Protection.” 

   When asked to break down her experience working with the renown Tyler Perry and the fun associated with it, Campbell lights up, “That was all that we did while we were filming. We were cracking up the entire time. They would call cut and you could hear the entire crew roar in laughter. It was so much fun to film. I had a great time.” Campbell has to explain the bedroom scene where Madea dumps the bucket of water on her when she refuses to get up. Again, Campbell is laughing, “That’s my favorite scene. Before I got the water poured on me, Madea had to scream at me and I screamed back at her because I didn’t want to get out of bed. So were arguing back and forth to get ourselves really ramped up with anger and it got to the point where it was so funny, we started cracking up.”

Danielle Campbell (Disney Photo)
      Rich and spoiled Cindy Needleman was so filled with resentment and anger. Where did Campbell go inside to create that personality on screen? She flashes that sweet innocent “who me” smile and says, “You know, I think it was just kind of like me playing off of Madea’s energy and kind of what I’ve seen in movies and stuff. I hope I would never get that mad at somebody. There’s no reason to.” When she looks back at the entire experience with this project, what did she take away from it? Campbell reflects, “The people that I got to filmed with are going to be life long friends. I had such a blast with all of them. They were veteran actors that I’ve been watching since I was a little girl and I just had a blast filming with everybody. Honestly, I was honored to take this role. I’ve been watching Madea movies since I was so young growing up and I could not believe when I heard that I got the role.” 

Madea - Nuff said! (Lionsgate Photo)

   What was it like for a Chicago girl working in Atlanta? Campbell lights up, “Oh my gosh, it was so fun! There are so many great things out in Atlanta and the people are so nice. Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about Atlanta.” “Madea’s Witness Protection” may be the best Madea movie yet!

© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm 
(You DID Hear It From Me!) 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Special Feature - Rych's 2011 Youth List

Special Feature - Rych's 2011Youth List

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
 All Photos Subject To Copyrights

  It is that time of year again where I personally select favorites for my TOP TEN LIST OF HOLLYWOOD’S MOST TALENTED YOUTH! The candidates (18 yrs and under) are selected strictly from the interviews that I conducted with them during 2011, which intern ran in my Weekly Internationally/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Column as a photo-interview feature. If I didn’t interview you – you don’t qualify for my list! It’s that simple (hint publicists, young artists and anyone else who feels left out)!

     As with every year, my hat goes off in a major salute to the parents of these exceptional young artists who have made untold sacrifices well beyond what many parents would be willing to make such as pulling up stakes and moving the entire family to LA or whatever else it took for their child or children to make it in the biz. The ten winners selected are without question the best of the best! They too have sacrificed, trained hard, done without and burned gallons of the midnight oil it took to get to where they are and they are just getting started! Rych McCain salutes all ten of you who are a part of my media family and I wish that the best is yet to come for each of you! May continued success be yours! 

     This year has an added bonus. For the girls; O.P.I., the world’s leading beauty marketer which includes the Kardashisan line is giving them promotional beauty kits and Dewberries, the Boutique to the stars, is giving gift bags as well. The boys will enjoy promotional sportswear from Niky’s Sports, one of the best chain outlets for sporting goods with a specialization in soccer. They are the choice of top athletes and the Hollywood stars. The awardees are listed alphabetically starting with:

Rowan Blanchard
.1.  Rowan Blanchard (age 12); Rowan is bubbling over with maturity and focus way beyond her 12 years. She exercised masterful command of her role as Rebecca Wilson in “Spy Kids, All The Time In The World 4-D” for Dimension Films.

Bobby Coleman, III

2.  Bobby Coleman III (age 14); Bobby put on such an awesome display of child bravery and the love of living in the face of life and death adversity through his role of Billy Kirkfield, the child with cancer in “Snowmen,”  for ARC Entertainment. 


3. Zendaya  (age 15);  Zendaya plays the perky Rocky Blue on the smash hit TV show “Shake It Up” on the Disney Channel Network.. 

Mason Cook

 4. Mason Cook (age 11); Mason’s skillful portrayal of the adorable little brother role as Cecil Wilson in “Spy Kids, All The time In The World 4-D” for Dimension Films and secured a spot in the heart’s of thousands of fans of the “Spy Kid’s” franchise.

Stone Chandler Forrest

5. Stone Chandler Forrest. (age 11);  Stone made his acting debut as Jyreek on the episode “One In A Million” for the reality TV show “Will To Live,” for the TV One Network.

Leeah D. Jackson
  6. Leeah D. Jackson (age 12); Leeah was featured in the film “A Mother’s Choice” for Star Trac  Productions and appeared in the movie “The Hive,” for Robert Townsend Productions. She was the 2011 Host of “The Hip Hop Awards” in Las Vegas and has numerous national commercials to her credit.

China Anne McClain
  7. China Anne McClain (age 13); China Anne makes her second solo appearance on this list. She has her own TV Sitcom “A.N.T. Farm,” on the Disney Channel Network and is a regular cast member playing Jazzymine Payne on Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” for the TBS Network. China Anne is also a recording artist signed to Hollywood Records with her sisters Sierra and Lauren. The sister's performed the hit them song "Rise" for the Disney Movie "Chimpanzee."

Chole Grace Moretz
 8. Chole Grace Moretz (age 14) Chole is currently in “Dark Shadows” for Warner Bros. Pictures as the rebellious family daughter Carolyn Stoddard.  She hauntingly and brilliantly portrayed little Anne Sliger in “Texas Killing Fields,” Anchor Bay Films. She was charming, witty and totally heart warming as Isabelle who has helped make “Hugo,” a favorite contender for a 2012 Oscar nod for Paramount Pictures. Chole blew everybody’s mind (good and controversial) as Mindy “Hitgirl” Marready, the pint size assassin in Lionsgate Films comic book take-off smash “Kick-Ass!”

Leroya Sanford

 9. Leroya Sanford (age 9); Comedienne. The youngest female stand-up comic on major comedy club stages in Hollywood.

Kennedy Zimet
10. Kennedy Zimet (age 15); Kennedy serves as a News Anchor/Producer for D.A.M.N.Y.C. Manhattan Neighborhood Network. She also conducts interviews in the studio and on the red carpets as well as act. 

© 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm 
(You DID Hear It From Me!) 

Monday, July 2, 2012

2012 BET Awards - TV

The 2012 BET Awards Rocks Again!

Photos Courtesy BET

     The 2012 BET Awards was another cable TV ratings bonanza as it is every year! This year the red carpet had bleacher seating for the mostly teen fans to see their favorite stars up close and even shaking their hands and getting autographs. The screaming from those fans kept the energy and excitement high as the stars paraded down doing their side press interviews.

Terrence J and Rocsi

     The live pre-show was hype as usual hosted by BET’s own Terrence J and Rocsi. As with every year, the acts had to perform in straight up blazing hot sun. The temps on that stage and the red carpet were in the high 80’s leaving the stars, press and fans to sweat and melt.

Nikki Minaj
     When everybody settled down inside the Shrine Auditorium they witness a great show but it was hindered by numerous bleeps and vulgarities that the censors missed or only half clipped during the entire show. It is actually a shame that some acts (not all) in the hip hop/rap genre blatantly display ignorance and the lack of respect of the medium of television with cussing and vulgar jesters. A large segment of Rick Ross and Nikki Minaj’s performances were muted out due to foul language. 

Yolanda Adams
           Gospel superstar Yolanda Adams, who performed and won “The Best Gospel Artist Award,” urged her secular music peers to act mature and use their fame wisely. In her acceptance speech Adams said “We need all of y’all. I’m saying the world needs everyone in this room. Please make sure that you use your gift responsibly, because we’re watching. Our babies are watching and they want to be like us.”

Cissy Houston
     The emotional highlight of the night came via the Whitney Houston tribute. Mariah Carey opened the segment with memories of her friendship with Houston. She was followed by a stirring number by Monica. Brandy rendered two of Houston’s up-tempo hits and Chaka Khan blazed the stage with "I'm Every Woman," which Houston remade. Houston’s brother Gary came out to sing a tune them mom Cissy Houston took the stage and had church. She brought the house down with a highly emotional charged gospel rendition of “Bridge Over Trouble Water.” Many in the crowd were brought to tears not only in the auditorium but in the back press room as well. All eyes were glued to those monitors. Other tributes included Chante Moore singing a medley of the late Donna Summers hits; Valerie Simpson singing the hits she collaborated with her late husband Nick Ashford and a tribute to TV music show pioneers Don Cornelius (Soul Train), Dick Clark (American Bandstand) and radio mogul Hal Jackson (Co-creator of the Inner City Radio Broadcast group).

Solange, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Kanye & Kim BET Photo
      The show was hosted by actor Sam Jackson who did skits with fellow Moorehouse College alumni Spike Lee and comic Kevin Hart who hosted last year’s show. Kanye West with girlfriend Kim Kardashian in tow led the pack with seven nominations followed by Beyonce with six. Beyonce did win “Best video Director” with Alan Ferguson and “Best Female R&B Artist.” West and his friend Jay-Z  beat out Beyonce for “Video of The Year. 

Kanye & Jay-Z
     As West was giving his acceptance speech, Jay-Z interrupted him and said: "Excuse me Kanye, I'm gonna let you continue, but ...," and the audience broke out with laughter, recalling West's infamous interruption of Taylor Swift's MTV Video Music Awards speech a few years back. Chris Brown was also a double winner; Kevin Hart won “Best Actor,” Big Sean was named best new artist while Wale and Miguel's smooth hit "Lotus Flower Bomb" won “Best Collaboration.”

Frankie Beverly & Jamie Foxx
    The show’s presenters were Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx, who wore a T-shirt that had a picture of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen killed in Florida. Frankie Beverly featuring Maze were honored with the lifetime achievement award, and they were serenaded with performances by Tyrese, Faith Evans and Joe.

     D'Angelo did, his first televised performance in years fostering his comeback. In an interesting note, Chris Brown performed in his first televised appearance since the New York City nightclub brawl between his entourage and Drake’s. Brown’s Girlfriend, his bodyguard and NBA star Tony Parker were among those injured in the June 14 encounter, where bottles were thrown. Despite being nominated, Drake was a no-show for the awards. For complete list of winners go to  

Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank
 © 2012 Rych McCain Media/Syndication tm 
(You DID Hear It From Me!)