Monday, September 8, 2014

Yara Shahidi - TV


(C) 2014 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.


Yara Shahidi - TV

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
By Rych McCain, www.twitter.com and Facebook (Like Me)!





Yara Shahidi
Adorable Teen Actress Making Her Mark!


    
Yara Shahidi
      There are many teens in the TV and Film business and for the most part they are pretty sharp because slouchy youngsters don’t have the metal to cut the riggers and demands of professional acting. Despite these children being as good as they come there are ranks and levels among them and every now and then you run across exceptional cases. Fourteen year-old actress Yara Shahidi easily fits into the class of exceptional amongst her peer group. The Minnesota native and now LA resident has been acting and modeling since age four. She maintains a 4.0 GPA in school, holds a black belt in Karate and recently completed a course of study over the summer at Oxford University in Oxford, England. Not many young actors can match those accomplishments. 



    
L-R: Yara Shahidi and Kerry Washington on the set of "Scandal"
Shahidi made her big screen debut opposite Eddie Murphy as his daughter Olivia in “Imagine That.” This was followed by roles in Tyler Perry’s “Alex Cross,” Samuel L. Jackson’s “Unthinkable,” Angelina Jolie’s “Salt” just to name some. Shahidi has major TV credits under her belt and a couple of full TV series as a regular such as “The First Family.” Shahidi really raised a few eyebrows when she played the young Olivia Pope on the #1 mega-hit TV show “Scandal.” What kind of feedback did that cause? Shadidi lights up, “The experience was that I got a positive response from people on set who were like oh my gosh you are the young Olivia Pope. And then my friends too, the media and my family, I really got a lot of positive feedback. A lot of my friends really supported me and said oh my goodness you’re going to be on “Scandal! “

 

     
Shahidi as Zoey on "Black-ish"
Shahidi is currently starring as Zoey Johnson the oldest sister from the well-to-do, affluent Johnson family in the new ABC-TV sitcom “Black-ish.” Anthony Anderson plays her dad Dre, Tracee Ellis Ross is mom Rainbow, Lawrence Fishburne is pops Dre’s dad and she has two brothers Andre, Jr. (Marcus Scribner), Jack (Miles Brown) and a sister Diane (Marsai Martin).The theme of the show is that the dad struggles to gain a sense of cultural identity in his children while rearing them in a predominately White, affluent, upper-middle-class neighborhood.
     When ever Anthony Anderson is around there is never a dull moment. How much fun and craziness is it on the set? Shahidi laughs, “It’s so much fun. Honestly, I don’t think we work. Most of the time it’s just us dancing and talking. We do rehearse and all but it’s just full of laughter and there’s so many out takes just because if we were doing anything we were laughing in the middle of it. There is so much improve it’s just an amazing set to be on.” Because the show does deal with cultural identity does that strike close to home in Shahidi’s real personal life being that her dad is Iranian and mom is an American Black? She explains, “When I think about the content of the show, it’s kind of true that any family can relate to no matter what ethnicity. There are shenanigans and all sorts of stuff that anyone can relate to. On a cultural level my parents have done an amazing job and I thank them for it keeping me connected to my roots being able to celebrate holidays. I’m interested in my Hindu culture, I have a Bible and a Quran so there has never really been a moment where I feel like I’ve kind of lost something. My parents have done a really good job.”

Cast of ABC-TV's "Black-ish." Front row L-R: Marsai Martin and Miles Brown. Back row L-R: Marcus Scribner, Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderson, Lawrence Fishburne and Yara Shahidi


What does Shahidi have to say to youth who come from racially mixed parents? She says, “It’s an honor to come from where you come from no matter what ethnicity your or where you parents grew up or whatever because every culture is so unique. I’m really proud to be half Iranian and half Black. It’s one of those things which allow me to live a crazy life and immerse myself in two cultures that otherwise I may not have had that experience. I love who I am and what I’m able to be.







© 2014 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM 
(You DID Hear It From Me!) 
Twitter@rychmccain and Facebook (Like Me)!





MC Lyte - TV


(C) 2014 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.


MC Lyte - TV

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist

www.twitter.com and Facebook (Like Me)!




MC Lyte
Hip Hop’s Pioneer Feminist Is Still On It!


MC Lyte
     She has the title of “Hip Hop’s Pioneer Feminist” bestowed upon her and rightfully so. Before her there was no female MC’s in the rap game. MC Lyte started rapping at age 12 and by the time she was a teen she released her first rap single “I Cram To Understand You” on the First Priority label. That led to a distribution deal with Atlantic Records and the rest as they say is history. Lyte’s biggest album was the gold certified “Ain’t No Other” which featured the smash hit single “Ruffneck” which got her a Grammy nomination and a top spot on the Billboard Pop charts. Lyte blazed a path that opened the door for other female MC’s to follow like Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott and later Lil Kym, Foxy Brown and now Niki Minaj.
    

     Lyte’s 25 year career span which also include acting roles on TV and film, voice over work, a national radio show titled “CafĂ© Mocha” on Terrestrial Radio and Sirus XM as well as social and charity with projects such as the famed single “Stop The Violence,” “Rock The Vote” and Aids benefits; are now the subject of the Centric TV Network’s celebrity documentary show “Being” which has begun its third season. The show airs on Saturdays at 9ET. Check your local listings. Lyte opens up about her career in a way her fans will love. The network sponsored a press party for two of this season’s stars Faith Evans and Lyte at the Xen Club in the valley.  We were able to catch Lyte on the red carpet.  When asked what her episode will entail? Lyte smiles and says, “I don’t know. They are still putting it together so I’ll be just as surprised as anyone else.”

What is Lyte’s opinion on how far women have come in hip hop since she stared the ball rolling in the late 80’s? She says, “Oh man, I’m just delighted to see that we’re still working, participating, on the top of the charts; it’s a lot to be thankful for.” When she entered the rap game it was a man’s domain. How did she deal with that? Lyte finds this particular question somewhat amusing explaining, “You know what, I never even considered it in that fashion. I just came to do a job and at the same time I had a whole lot of fun. And still, the only reason why I stay in entertainment is because it is enjoyable.” After she became well established in the biz, was there pressure to bring other women into the game or was it every lady for herself? Lyte explains, “I think when you are young it really is every man for himself and every lady for herself but once you gain a certain amount of consciousness it’s like oh, OK yes; that feels natural to now want to help others to be where you are or be where you’ve been.”

     What about the feminine aspect of the game back then? Did you have to be hard or could you have just been a regular lady? Lyte illuminates, “I think you could have been anyway
you wanted to. That’s the lovely thing about the era from which I came. Record labels really didn’t tell you what to do or how to be or how to dress or what kind of records to record. You kind of just did what felt most natural and because it was such a phenomenon they let you do what you wanted to do. That set of executives weren’t in the business of telling you what to do. They were just in the business of creating a way for you to be heard.”
    
      Lyte still has her clothing shop in the San Fernando Valley and her foundation Hip Hop Sisters.Org is still awarding two ($100,000) full scholarships per year to young ladies via the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her new book is coming out on her life’s story.

© 2014 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM 
(You DID Hear It From Me!) 
Twitter@rychmccain and Facebook (Like Me)!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Sylvester Stallone - Film


(C) 2014 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.


Sylvester Stallone - Film

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
By Rych McCain, www.twitter.com/rychmccain and Facebook (Like Me)





Sylvester Stallone
Keeps The Expendables Momentum Revved Up!

Photos Lionsgate




   
Sylvester Stallone
 
He is the first actor/writer/producer in Hollywood history to create and have three highly successful film franchises i.e., “Rocky,” “Rambo” and now “The Expendables.” When this fact is brought up, Sylvester Stallone somewhat shirks it off as just another day at the office. The man lends credibility to the notion that the bigger one is; the less importance they put on themselves. Stallone’s latest installment  “The Expendables 3” on one hand is more of the same from the last two films but on the other hand it brings a fresh facelift with a new set of younger crew members that mix in with the original vets. This adds a whole new dynamic that the fans of the franchise will appreciate while drawing first time younger converts into the fold.




  
  


 When asked about the longevity of the franchise Stallone jokes, “After the 5th Expendables you start wearing Dependables. You just keep going.” 









    






 
Mel Gibson
In this installment, Mel Gibson plays the master bad guy Conrad Stonebanks who is an international arms dealer among other illicit activities. Stonebanks and Barney Ross (Stallone) were the two who originally formed The Expendables but they split and Ross though he had killed Stonebanks when he crossed over to the other side a decade earlier. A showdown fight scene finally comes to a head. How much fun was it to film that scene? Stallone explains, “It was good. You know it varies in situations in actual sports where you have rivalries get together; two people that have actually done very well in their own world. Then you say I wonder how they would do against each other. So when that finally happens it becomes an event. And yes a contact is made and you do get hurt. Its freezing there (filmed in Bulgaria) the water and you say oh my God I’m not going to do it again but you have to do it again.  So I’ve been looking forward to it. Mel is a great athlete. He’s very fast, very strong and it was great being punched by him.” 
          
    
L-R  Harrison Ford and Sly Stallone
Bruce Willis
had played “Church” in the first two films so what happen with this installment where he was not in it and his character was killed off? Stallone says, “Things didn’t work out then Harrison Ford came along. That happens in films and casting. That’s just the way it is; nothing personal. It sounds like it got personal and I’m sorry it did sound that way but it was just actors talking and things move on. I think Bruce Willis is a great guy and he does fantastically entertaining films. When he nails it, he nails it big time.”


Barney (Stallone) leads squad on reconnaissance
     In day and time where there is so much gun violence happening how does Stallone defend making this kind of film? He gives an overview, “First of all there is no blood and ours is so over the top that it isn’t something that you would expect people to repeat. It’s a very sensitive thing and I really don’t know what the answer is. We just try to make it so it looks as though it’s a fantasy. It isn’t real. Some times I think when you make a movie, some movies can get so real then you say hum I can do that. There are not a lot of people that can do what the Expendables can do.”

© 2014 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM 
(You DID Hear It From Me!) 
Twitter@rychmccain and Facebook (Like Me)!

The Ladies Of "Sisterhood Of Hip Hop" - TV


(C) 2014 by Rych McCain, All Rights Reserved. No part of this column may be reprinted, re-posted or duplicated without written permission from Rych McCain Media/Syndication. Violation is subject to applicable laws.


The Ladies Of "Sisterhood Of Hip Hop." - TV

By Rych McCain, International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment Columnist
By Rych McCain, www.twitter.com and Facebook (Like Me)!






The Ladies of “Sisterhood Of Hip Hop”
Keeping The Game Real!

Photos Courtesy The Oxygen Network

L-R: Nyemiah, Bia, Brianna, Diamond and Siya

     On Tuesday, August 12 (9 PM ET/PT) The Oxygen Network will premiere a new reality series titled “Sisterhood Of Hip Hop.” The show is centered on the dreams, aspirations and challenges of being a female MC in the male dominated rap game. The cast includes female rappers Brianna Perry, Nyemiah Supreme, Siya, Diamond and Bia. Every one of these ladies brings unique talent and skills to the table and they are not only set out to claim their stake in rap stardom but do it in the spirit of empowerment, cooperation and sisterhood as a group. This is what really needs to be seen by our youth who have been psychologically programmed that rappers can’t or don’t get along. The show is produced by 51 Minds with Christian Sarabia, T.I., Rabih Gholam and Roy Orecchio serving as executive producers.


    
Brianna
 

 As with all reality shows, these ladies’ lives will become an open book to millions of viewers. Are they ready for that kind of scrutiny? Brianna responds saying “I think its pretty dope that the world is about to get an open look on us and our grid and everything that we’re doing. We have been working pretty hard. We have a lot of exciting things about to pop off i.e., a lot of new music and visuals so just to have the world be on this journey with us is pretty cool. 











    
Nyemiah Supreme
I’m excited.” Nyemiah chimes in saying, “I’m really excited/scared at the same time. I’m totally excited for us to get the chance to open up to a whole new audience so it’s not just music listeners it’d TV watchers. And then I am a little scared because I know they get vicious when it comes to TV trying to tear people down but I know they’re going to love our music and love what we have to offer so I’m just totally hyped.” 




Siya
      Siya follows saying, “Honestly, I’m speechless.” Siya is openly gay and when asked what kind of challenges that presents to her she explains, “It really haven’t been Challenges’ per say because I am gay, it’s just been the whole image factor. The fact that I won’t change how I look for the hip hop industry or anyone for that matter. I’m very proud of the fact that I am openly gay and I take pride in being the first of my kind. And really, can’t nobody tell me s**t about it so challenges, there really aren’t  any!”
     How was it to deal with cameras being on them all the time while taping the show? Nyemiah laughs, “I went into it just prepared that I will spill out some of the things that I don’t want the world to know and let a bit of my secrets to go. So I mentally prepared myself for this. At first is definitely was a little uncomfortable just trying to have conversations with people like management, family and there’s a camera starring at you. It took a lot of adjustment but by the time we were almost finished I felt like I was a pro at it.



    
Diamond
Diamond has accumulated a lot of experience and industry knowledge since her ground breaking days as a member of the platinum hit making group “Crime Mobb.” What would she say to the show’s viewers who are new and trying to break into the game? She advises, “My first thing would be to definitely make sure you always have a lawyer (preferably a music industry attorney) to look over all of your contracts and everything because a smile and a handshake does not match what you think is on a piece of paper because its 90% business, 10% entertainment. Also, never give up, always keep pushing. It’s a male dominated game so it’s hard but if people continue see you keep going no matter what; eventually they’ll learn to respect you.” 





    
Bia
How does the theme of sisterhood play out with the group? Bia explains, “I think it plays into respect and being a woman and having the same core values like we each want to win and it would be great to see other women winning at the top so it’s nothing better than us helping each other to get where we need to go. So I think that’s what sisterhood means at the end of the day.”



© 2014 Rych McCain Media/Syndication TM 
(You DID Hear It From Me!) 
Twitter@rychmccain and Facebook (Like Me)!