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Urban

HUDSON, A NEW DRAMATIC SERIES FROM HAVE FAITH PRODUCTIONS AND CANADIAN BROADCASTER CHANNEL ZERO….

HUDSON, A NEW DRAMATIC SERIES FROM HAVE FAITH PRODUCTIONS AND CANADIAN BROADCASTER CHANNEL ZERO….

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March 16, 2016 - It was recently confirmed that a new dramatic series is in the final stages of development for Have Faith Productions and Canadian Broadcaster Channel Zero, with the U.S. network to be announced shortly. The show, titled Hudson, will be shot in Toronto, and will focus on the divide of community and neighborhoods and the police precincts that hold both sides together through intertwined relationships, pitting the wealthy against the not-so-wealthy, and vice versa. With this series, you'll see who has landed where, how they fit, and if they ultimately belong.

Have Faith Productions has made quite an impressive name for themselves, having recently been behind the major film production Sons 2 the Grave, which stars Brad James, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Trevor Jackson, Justin Martin, Messiah James, Maria Howell, Demetria McKinney, and a host of other major names in the business. Sons 2 The Grave is currently screening, with plans of a theatrical release soon.

Hudson will feature a laundry list of amazing talent, including some hip-hop royalty who will join the cast.

While no official timeline has been announced in regard to debut of Hudson, the time is coming rather soon. Stay tuned to UGDigital for updates regarding the debut.

Album Review: Ciara: Jackie

Album Review: Ciara: Jackie

Ciara, Jackie Cover Art

Ciara, Jackie Cover Art

Ciara is back with her new LP, titled "Jackie". Named after her mother, the album symbolizes the idea that now as a mother herself, Ciara is able to see things through the ideas of her mother. 

As a fan of Ciara and her music, I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with Jackie, as I believe most will be. Obviously, Ciara has been around for more than a decade now, having released her debut “Goodies” in 2004. She has grown progressively throughout the years, and this time around, she’s got an album that showcases that growth. 

Producers throughout Jackie include Rehab, Polow da Don, Dr. Luke, and Harmony Samuels, who has provided the musical backdrop for such artists as Fantasia, Ariana Grande, Keyshia Cole, and Jennifer Hudson just to name a few. 

The album starts of with the somewhat-shocking, yet pleasing ‘Jackie (B.M.F.) (Still wrapping my mind around Ciara saying she’s a back motherfucker). All jokes aside, it’s really a solid track, and the beat (provided by Harmony Samuels) pulls you in from the start, as the production does throughout the entire LP. She goes on, saying “can’t even hate cause you know this shit hot, yea I’m that bitch, like it or not, better get ready cause I’m not gone’ stop”… There’s a whole new level of confidence that I believe people will really like seeing and hearing. 

Missy Elliott and Pitbull appear on “That’s How I’m Feelin’”. There’s been a bit of back and forth about whether this would be the follow-up single to “I Bet”, but it’s looking as though it may be “Dance Like We’re Making Love”, which is produced by Dr. Luke, who has also produced for many of the biggest acts in the industry. Honestly, I feel like that’s probably a good move. “Dance Like We’re Making Love” just has this smooth groove about it that you can’t help but dance to. 

Ciara asserts her independence and strength on the Polow da Don - produced ‘Fly”. “I Got You” is a touching tune that is clearly inspired by motherhood. 

Overall, fans will be pleased with “Jackie”. Ciara has always appeared confident in her step, yet, there’s a newfound level of confidence, freedom, and independence that exudes throughout this LP. 

#UrbanMusicNews:@KatDeluna Releases Scorching New Single, "BUM BUM", feat @treysongz

#UrbanMusicNews:@KatDeluna Releases Scorching New Single, "BUM BUM", feat @treysongz

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 (March 30, 2015 - New York, NY) -- Singer, songwriter and dancer Kat DeLuna releases her fiery new single, "Bum Bum" featuring Trey Songz today. Listen to "Bum Bum" here and purchase here.  DeLuna is prepping a new full-length album that will be released later this year.  Details to follow.


About her new singl, DeLuna says, "I'm so excited for the world to hear my amazing new song 'Bum Bum' with the incredible Trey Songz. This song is evidence that music transcends generations, and for that I wasnt to specially thank Sister Nancy for originating such an incredible song that left its musical imprint culturally for years to come.  I hope 'Bum Bum' becomes your summer anthem!"

DeLuna is a classically trained singer, in addition to being a songwriter and energizing performer. Her debut album, 2007's Nine Lives featured the pop/dance latin-flavored, Gold-certified single “Whine Up,” featuring Jamaican reggae star Elephant Man, and catapulted Kat to international stardom.

DeLuna nabbed the Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica 2007 - MTVtr3s’s “Best New Artist Award,” and scored a Billboard Latin Music Award for “Best Club Play Track of the Year” (for “Whine Up”). She also received “The Best Urban Artist” and “The Best New Artist” Awards at the TMF Awards in 2008. DeLuna also won The Casandra Award for “New International Artist,” as well as her 2009 prestigious ALMA Award Nomination for “Female Rising Star.“ 

A Night at the Improv with Jay Phillips...

A Night at the Improv with Jay Phillips...

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Tonight's show at the Cleveland Improv was definitely one to remember.  The show featured comedians Rob Ward, Patrick Melton, and headliner Jay Phillips. Phillips is no newcomer to comedy, having been all over HBO comedy specials and Def Comedy Jam. He also carried a leading role in the 2008 film Semi Pro alongside Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, and Outkast's Andre Benjamin. He's now a part of the new BET sketch series The Xperiment! 

Rob Ward emcee'd the show, offering his own unique brand of comedy that had the audience at ease. Ward often emcees a number of shows here at the Improv, and continues to build his following with each show. He always does a fantastic job with warming the crowd up. 

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Patrick Melton followed Ward with a hilarious set that had the audience laughing energetically from the start. There wasn't necessarily one thing that Melton focus on. He talked about a variety of topics, but it was more conversational. That's what made him easily relate with the crowd, ultimately wining them over, Both Ward and Melton were the added bonus of the night, as with the Improv, only the headliner is advertised. You don't necessarily know who you're getting with the openers, so being completely honest, the show could go one of two ways. Tonight was definitely one of those nights where each comedian rocked hard.

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Following the trend of the night, Jay Phillips commandeered the crowd with no trouble whatsoever. His often animated delivery made for a fun time, and his style, also conversational, definitely won the audience immediately. It was basically like he was spending the night talking with friends, and nothing was off limits. One of the things that stood out for me was his impression of President Barack Obama. Anyone in the audience would say he was "spot on" with the President's dialect. We definitely can't give too much away in reference to what he joked about, but we emphatically say that Phillips is absolutely hilarious, and you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not going out to see him, wherever the is.

Phillips will be here in Cleveland throughout the remainder of the weekend performing with both Patrick Melton and Rob Ward at the Cleveland Improv. For more info or to purchase tickets, contact 216-696-4977, or visit www.clevelandimprov.com

Jay Phillips can be found on both Twitter and Instagram with the handle: @jayphillipslive

Patrick Melton can be found on both Twitter and Instagram with the handle: @pmelt

Rob Ward can be found on Instagram with the handle: @robwardcomedy

 

Russell Simmons Presents The Scenario...A New Musical...

Russell Simmons Presents The Scenario...A New Musical...

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NEW YORK, March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Hip-hop pioneer, Tony Award-winning producer and multi-hyphenate entrepreneur Russell Simmons has announced the development of The Scenario, a new stage musical that will be driven by the music that defined a generation: the greatest hits from a two-decade span of hip-hop – from the "golden age" of the mid-80s to mid-90s "when it seemed that every new single reinvented the genre" (Rolling Stone), to the chart-topping artists at the turn of the millennium.  Simmons, who is widely credited with ushering in a hip-hop cultural revolution with the launch of Def Jam Recordings in 1984, and creating the trailblazing Def Comedy franchise in 1989, will produce through his Los Angeles-based production company Def Pictures, alongside Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Big Block/Scott Prisand (Rock of Ages, Heathers, Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder)The Scenariowill feature an original story written by acclaimed author and hip-hop historian Dan Charnas (The Big Payback), and aims to premiere in New York City in late 2016. 

"Hip hop's explosion was fueled by a generation with an incredible hunger to discover new ways of expression," said Simmons. "These artists were always breaking the mold with new rhythms and new ideas, while at the same time telling so many important and timeless stories that over the decades have continued to remain just as relevant.  This is why the music continues to strike a chord with fans worldwide.  It felt like such a natural fit to weave the best of these sounds and stories into an energetic and thrilling musical that would transport audiences through one of the most innovative artistic movements of our time."

"Part of what made the Rock of Ages experience so incredible for theatregoers was the joy of hearing the most beloved songs of an era serve as the storyteller," said Scott Prisand. "Russell is the catalyst of all this extraordinary music that has already touched generations to the core around the world; we're taking those beats everyone knows and loves, and setting them into a fun original story."  

Added Jake Stein, who is shepherding the project on behalf of Def Pictures and will also produce with Simmons, "These classic songs, stories and rhythms will find a new audience on the theater stage.  We believe this show will be an entirely new entry point for appreciating hip hop as a transformative art that has shaped culture, fashion, music and entertainment of all forms, and we hope it will help open the door for other live theatrical experiences."

Entrepreneur, author, activist and philanthropist Russell Simmons has launched scores of groundbreaking careers and innovative enterprises in arenas as varied as music, film, television, fashion, comedy, poetry, digital platforms, theater and finance.  His lifelong mission has been giving a voice to extraordinary talent and empowering underserved communities as they in turn shape the mainstream of culture. 

After having produced or managed artists such as Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Houdini and Jimmy Spicer, Simmons joined forces with producer Rick Rubin to found Def Jam Recordings. Under Simmons' leadership as Chairman, Def Jam signed acts including the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Jay Z and Kanye West.  Simmons' long-running HBO series "Def Comedy Jam" helped make household names of comics including Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart and JB Smoove. "Def Poetry Jam," also on HBO, won a Peabody Award and a Broadway version netted Simmons a Tony® Award. Simmons' numerous big-screen hits include The Nutty Professor, which grossed more than $273 million.

Simmons has written three New York Times best-selling books, including Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, which was published by Morrow in 2014. He has also launched a multitude of diverse business ventures including pop-culture website Global Grind, UniRush Financial Services, Simmons Jewelry, shoemaker Run Athletics and clothing subsidiaries Phat Farm, Argyleculture and American Classics. Most recently, he unveiled All Def Digital, a premium, multi-platform digital media company and entertainment hub, curating, developing and connecting a new generation of content creators to global fans.  He also co-founded the digital marketing firm Narrative. 

Dan Charnas is an acclaimed author, journalist, professor, producer and former record company executive, and is considered to be one of hip-hop's foremost historians. As part of a generation of young writers who created hip-hop journalism, Dan penned some of the first cover stories for The Source magazine, and is author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop (New American Library/Penguin) and the co-author of Def Jam: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label (Rizzoli). Deemed "Pulitzer-worthy" by Spin and "Epic" by The Village Voice, The Big Payback received four stars from Rolling Stone, and accolades from publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Entertainment Weekly and The Atlantic.  Dan began his music business career in the mailroom of the seminal rap label Profile Records, eventually becoming Rap A&R and Promotion Manager — working with such artists as Run-DMC, Dana Dane, Special Ed, Rob Base, Special Ed and DJ Quik. As VP of A&R and Marketing for the Rick Rubin/Warner Bros joint venture American Recordings, Dan oversaw projects including Sir Mix-A-Lot's double-platinum single "Baby Got Back" (the #2 Billboard Pop Single of 1992), DJ Kool's gold anthem "Let Me Clear My Throat," and Chino XL's acclaimed "Here To Save You All," which influenced emcees from Eminem to 50 Cent. He is currently Associate Arts Professor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University; and an executive producer of the upcoming VH1 movie, "The Breaks".

THE SCENARIO is produced by Russell Simmons; Def Pictures/Jake Stein; Big Block/Scott Prisand, Scott Benson, Tom Pellegrini and Jamie Bendell; Brian Sherand Stella Bulichnikov.