'Fresh Prince Of Bel Air' star James Avery dies aged 68 | News

James Avery dead aged 68
As many of us were ringing in the New Year, the sad news broke that actor James Avery, who many from our generation will remember as Philip Banks better known as Uncle Phil on the Will Smith led iconic '90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, died on New Year's Eve (December 31st) aged 68.Read more

Fugees video director sentenced to 50 years for sexual assault

fugees-directorVideo director of the Fugees 1996 hit "Killing Me Softly," Aswad Ayinde was sentenced to 50 years in prison for sexual assault on Friday, July 26.

Adding to a 40-year sentence the MTV Award-winner received more than a year ago, resulting from charges surrounding the sexual abuse of his daughters, the 55-year old has been under investigation for raping his daughters and forcing them to have his children.

Between the 1980s and 2000s, Ayinde fathered six children with his daughters and performed the deliveries himself, burying the children that didn't survive, per New York Daily News. Read more

Vybz Kartel

Vybz Kartel acquitted of one of two murder charges, issues statement

Vybz Kartel

Controversial dancehall artist Vybz Kartel was last week acquitted of the 2011 murder of Jamaican businessman Barrington ‘Bossy’ Burton, when he appeared in the Home Circuit Court, Jamaica. Read more

Harry Belafonte wants to resolve issues with JAY Z + Beyoncé, requests a sit down [Video] | News

Renowned social activist Harry Belafonte is hoping to resolve his issues with JAY Z and Beyoncé by inviting the superstar couple for a one-on-one sit down, in which they can perhaps address their differences and reach some common ground.

The icon recently rubbed Mr Carter up the wrong way with a remark reportedly claiming that the rapper and his wife have turned their back on social responsibility and could be utilising their celebrity status more effectively. Jay then responded via his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, and also went into more depth about why Harry's comment had offended him during a #FactsOnly interview with Elliott Wilson last week.

"Belafonte went about the wrong way. The way he did it within the media and then he bigged-up Bruce Springsteen. It was like woo, you just sent the wrong message like all around…" Jay told Elliott.

Now, Belafonte - who is currently protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case - has attempted to clear the air by explaining what he really meant by his controversial remark.

When asked on MSNBC about whether Jay should continue touring with Justin Timberlake, Harry responded:

“I would be hard pressed to tell Mr. JAY Z what to do with this time and his fortune. All I can be critical is of what he is not doing. This conflict that is emerging was not from me as a direct attack on Jay-Z or Beyonce. I was at a press conference in Switzerland. Questions were raised by the international press. They asked about the artists and the social engagement of the past based on a film we were watching…and how artists responded earlier in my life and how they responded today.

“And I made the observation that the highly powerful voice that our community has – Black America has – there is so much celebrity power that it was sad to see that the collective of the celebrity power had not been applied to bring consciousness to the inequities that we face,” Belafonte said. “Artist that heard that responded in a very strong way. You’ll find that Jamie Foxx, you’ll find Chuck D [of Public Enemy]…you find that any number of highly profiled people have taken that critique and called for [a meeting]. We’ve sat. We’ve talked. And I will tell you now that these people that I’ve just mentioned are officially behind Dream Defenders. They are prepared to come down. They are prepared to perform. I would hope that Jay-Z would not take personally what was said because it was not said about him personally.”

He then extended an invitation to Jay and Bey, with hopes that the trio can sit down privately and talk things through.

"Having said that, I would like to say to Jay-Z, to Beyonce: My heart is wide open and filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one-on-one. And lets understand each other rather than try to answer these questions and these nuances in a public place."

Watch the full interview below and skip to the 11 minute mark to watch the section JAY Z and Beyonce.

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Coincidentally, the MCHG rapper and Beyoncé recently attended a Trayvon Martin protest rally in New York.

Yasiin Bey subjected to standard Guantánamo Bay force-feeding procedure in protest [Video]

Yasiin Bey subjected to standard Guantánamo Bay force-feeding procedure in protest width=
Usually this is the part where I write "readers/viewers of a nervous disposition please turn away now", but not today as I urge every single one of you to watch this and help make a difference.

Yasiin Bey aka the artist formerly known as Mos Def has joined forces with Human rights charity Reprieve to raise awareness on the barbaric and inhumane methods utilised at Guantánamo Bay.

Focusing on highlighting the practice of force-feeding and the US Government's “equivocal” response over whether daytime force-feeding will take place during Ramadan, The harrowing clip, directed by Asif Kapadia, features Yasiin stripped of his garments, placed in a standard orange jumpsuit, strapped down and chained to chair while medical staff attempt to force a feeding tube through his nose directly into his stomach. The events during and following this bring Bey to uncontrollable tears and highlight the plight currently faced by at least 45 detainees currently.

Watch the clip below and then go to Reprieve's website for more information and ways of getting involved.

Dancehall star Konshens spearheads book drive for Secondary School in Uganda


International Dancehall artist Konshens is spearheading a book drive for Kololo Senior Secondary School in Uganda, Africa to help equip the students with tools to further their education. Read more

Enter the Dragon actor Jim Kelly dies aged 67

Obit Kelly

The actor, athlete and martial artist Jim Kelly has died at the age of 67.

Widely regarded as the first Black martial arts film star, Kelly was best known for his role opposite Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon, playing Williams, a nonchalant yet egotistical combatant that competes alongside Lee. Read more

Oprah Winfrey donates $12 million to Smithsonian museum of African American History

oprahEven though she’s busy with the duties that come along with running a television network, Oprah Winfrey always makes time to be a philanthropist.

In her latest giving move, the media mogul is donating $12 million to the Smithsonian’s planned National Museum of African American History and Culture. Read more

Author Iain Banks dies from cancer at 59 | News

iain banks

Scottish crime and science fiction novelist Iain Banks, author of the critically acclaimed The Wasp Factory, died on Sunday, June 9, aged 59, from terminal cancer of the gallbladder.Read more

Mel Brooks honoured with American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award

Mel Brooks The American Film Institute this week honored the career of writer, actor and director Mel Brooks awarding the Emmy, Grammy and Oscar winner it's Life Achievment Award at a star studded ceremony at The Dolby in Hollywood.

At 86 years old, with an illustrious career spanning over six decades, Brooks is now the 41st recipient of the prestigious accolade and received the award from fellow directorial great Martin Scorsese, also a recipient in 1997.

In a characteristically open and frank speech, Brooks revealed, "Movies saved my life...rescued my soul. No matter what was bad or wrong, it could be wiped out on Saturday morning."

Robert DeNiro, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg were amongst those on hand to extend their congratulations to Brooks, who remains perhaps best remembered for his 1974 Western Satire Blazing Saddles directed by Brooks and co-written with the late Richard Pryor.


Lauryn Hill sentenced to 3 months in jail for tax evasion | News

Despite reports that she had settled her tax bill for the full outstanding amount early today, news has just broken that Lauryn Hill has been sentenced to three months in jail for tax evasion, as she failed to pay taxes on about $1.8m of earnings between 2005-2007.Read more

New Michael Jackson trial sees his family take on AEG Live


Once again Michael Jackson’s later years and death are to be revisited in an LA courtroom, as a jury will hear opening statements in the wrongful death suit brought against concert promotion company AEG Live by Jackson’s family. Read more

DMX wants 'Iyanla: Fix My Life' footage removed from OWN network

Last week, DMX appeared in an emotional and slightly harrowing interview with Iyanla Vanzant for the season two premiere of her Iyanla: Fix My Life series, in which he spoke about a number of troubling subjects in his life, including his constant battle with drugs, his failed relationships and his children.

However, Dark Man X isn't happy with the way he was portrayed on the episode and claims that the interview was supposed to have been centred around his addiction to women - not drugs - with a hope that he would eventually be able to re-build his relationship with his children.

A statement released earlier this week by the rapper's representatives, said: "DMX agreed to be a guest on Iyanla: Fix My Life with the understanding that she would be helping his relationships with his 10 children. When he arrived for the taping, most of the content was focused on his struggles with drugs and poor parenting. Iyanla did not ‘fix’ DMX’s life, just made his image worse, and does not have DMX’s personal written consent to use the footage."

Apparently questions about DMX's drug use had not been cleared before the show was filmed and now he wants the entire footage from the show pulled from Oprah's OWN network and is seeking legal action. The Ruff Ryders rapper has also told TMZ that he believes Iyanla set him up to look bad in order to boost ratings, adding: "That lady is toxic ... My last words to her were that she can suck my dick and she still can."

DMX is currently working on a new album with fellow Ruff Ryders member and super producer, Swizz Beatz. He is hoping to get either Dr Dre or Kanye West involved in the project too.

If you missed DMX's interview with Iyanla, catch up here.

Jay-Z launches Roc Nation Sports: "It was a natural progression"


Ever the business man Jay Z doesn’t back down when it comes to making money - now Mr Carter has launched Roc Nation Sports with the talent agency Creative Artist Agency, the first signee stepping up to the bat being Yankees player Robinson Cano. Read more

Wesley Snipes released from prison after serving nearly 3 years for tax evasion | News

wesley snipes

Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes has been released from prison after serving nearly 3 years for tax evasion.Read more

Renowned film critic Roger Ebert dies aged 70 | News


Influential American film critic Roger Ebert has died at the age of 70 following a long battle with cancer.

Ebert, the first journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize for movie criticism passed away on Thursday afternoon at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, having announced a day earlier that he was going in for radiation treatment after a resurgence of cancer.

Diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002, part of Ebert’s jaw was removed, and he lost the ability to speak after a later surgery. He eventually returned to writing full time and TV, gaining a voice through the Internet via his twitter account, with his charming (and sometimes scathing) wit quickly attracting an immense amount followers, with many first learning of his reviews through the website.

Writing for the Sun Times, the Chicago newspaper he was a columnist for from 1967 until his passing, Ebert said: “But there’s something seductive about it: The stream, the flow, the chatter, the sudden bursts of news, the snark, the gossip, time itself tweet-tweet-tweeting away.”

On Tuesday Ebert revealed that he was facing a new fight with cancer following a hip fracture last year. Writing in a blog post titled “A Leave of Presence”, he detailed his intentions to take a leave, writing fewer reviews. Understandable, coming from a man who wrote 306 movie reviews in addition to a number of other articles in 2012 alone.

“It is being treated with radiation, which has made it impossible for me to attend as many movies as I used to.” he wrote, but he swore to keep on with his work.

The seminal critic ended the bittersweet post in beautiful fashion, writing “So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies.”

R.I.P. Roger Joseph Ebert (June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013)