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By Richard Cromelin and Richard Cromelin,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 5, 2004
HOLLYWOOD - Rock 'n' roll and rap, the dominant pop music styles of the past half-century, both originated in black music, but when it comes to mixing the two, there's been good times (Run-DMC and Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," Danger Mouse's The Grey Album) and there's been bad times (Limp Bizkit and its lunkhead progeny). That last one was bad enough to make a promising rapper torpedo his career momentum in order to clear the tainted air. "I don't like insincerity in people and I hate it when people pose," says Mos Def, 30. "I was really, really frustrated when I would see these bands that were derivative of what hip-hop was. They would take like a rock riff and sprinkle some hip-hop on it and oh, it was this `amazing' thing.
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By LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 30, 2009
Series The Big Bang Theory: : Penny (Kaley Cuoco) develops a rivalry with a sexy new neighbor (Valerie Azlynn). (8 p.m., WJZ-Channel 13) Chuck: : A heartless agent is sent to evaluate Sarah's (Yvonne Strahovski) performance as Chuck's (Zachary Levi) handler after he reveals his feelings about her. (8 p.m., WBAL-Channel 11) House: : A man (Mos Def) awakens in a New York hospital after a bicycle accident, unable to move or communicate. (8 p.m., WBFF-Channel 45) Greek: : As a new season gets under way, Casey (Spencer Grammer)
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By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 3, 2006
What happens when a tragic burnout meets a determined optimist? Well, we all know the answer to that, right? The optimist wins, the burnout is revived and all is well once again with the world. That's a pretty standard Hollywood formula, which makes 16 Blocks a pretty standard Hollywood picture. But in the capable hands of director Richard Donner (Die Hard) and screenwriter Richard Wenk, that's a very good thing - especially when the resulting movie marks an intriguing new chapter in an established actor's career and an exciting milestone in that of a relative newcomer.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow | December 19, 2008
Cadillac Records *** ( 3 STARS) This movie hasn't gotten the push it deserves from distributors or critics, but Darnell Martin's movie about Leonard Chess, the self-made Chicago "record man" who put Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Chuck Berry and Howlin' Wolf on vinyl and paid Alan Freed and other DJs to put them on the air, sends audiences out singing its praises. Whatever you feel about the contention that Chess and company created rock 'n' roll, the movie makes a great case for it: You feel present at the birth of a new American pop culture.
FEATURES
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,SUN STAFF | December 17, 2003
Was that Mos Def who just walked by? Could have been. The rapper, Broadway star and film actor is in Baltimore for the shooting of an HBO movie about a Johns Hopkins doctor and his lab assistant. Titled Something the Lord Made, the film is based on the 35-year professional relationship and friendship between cardiologist Alfred Blalock (played by Alan Rickman) and his research assistant, Vivien Thomas (played by Mos Def). The men, who died in 1964 and 1985 respectively, together developed a method to save oxygen-deprived "blue babies."
FEATURES
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | December 22, 2004
When Mos Def's latest album, The New Danger, dropped in October, I prematurely called it one of the best rap albums to come out this year. I was just excited that the artist had finally released a follow-up to his excellent 1999 debut, the gold-selling Black on Both Sides. But I have lived with the latest CD for the last two months. And I must confess: The New Danger is overly ambitious, full of grand intentions that never really fly. Rock (early Funkadelic, a little Jimi Hendrix) is clearly his style inspiration throughout, but his ambitions nearly swallow him on the record.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN STAFF | December 2, 2004
Mos Def / 9:30 Club Talented rapper-actor Mos Def, whose latest album is the experimental New Danger, will raise the roof at the 9:30 Club, 815 V. St. N.W. in Washington, Wednesday night at 7:30. For more information, visit www.930.com. HFSMas Nutcracker / Patriot Center Blazing with performances by Jimmy Eat World, Good Charlotte, Breaking Benjamin and others, the HFSmas Nutcracker stops at the Patriot Center, 4400 University Drive in Fairfax, Va., Saturday evening at 5. Tickets are $48-$58 and are available through Ticketmaster.
ENTERTAINMENT
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 13, 2006
These picks will help take the drag out of click-and-drag music choices. Some downloads may contain explicit lyrics. Free. "California Girls," Gretchen Wilson, music.aol.com/artist/gretchen-wilson/657188/main: Wilson bucks cultural stereotypes as a country girl on the beach, Daisy Dukes and all, but her barb is directed in much the same direction as Pink's recent "Stupid Girls." It's not a particularly new idea - merely a gender transference of John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" or hundreds of other like-minded tunes - and the video doesn't deepen the discussion, but the mere appearance of a country artist on a California beach is significant.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | February 22, 2008
Be Kind Rewind ends with a community get-together that's meant to be as up-with-people and ebullient as an Obama campaign stop. Too bad the movie tries to get there on a ragged wing and a doggerel prayer. Some of the smartest people around have been yearning so strongly for renewal that they take any skeptical or realistic jibe as a mortal slight. The only hope for Be Kind Rewind, a pathetic new piece of whimsy from the cult fantasist Michel Gondry, is that it taps into those inchoate expectations of change flooding the country.
NEWS
By Rashod D. Ollison | September 9, 2005
AT 26, ROBERT GLASPER is already impressive - a gifted jazz musician with a brilliant, energetic technique and a fresh, mesmerizing sense of melody and composition. A native of Houston, Texas, Glasper will release Canvas, his exuberant debut for Blue Note Records, Oct. 4. He will bring his playful, Herbie-Hancock-influenced style to Washington's Blues Alley Nov. 9. His critically well received first album, Mood, was released on the independent Fresh Sound New Talent label in 2003. Based in New York, Glasper has backed an interesting range of artists, including Carly Simon, Q-Tip and Mos Def. An accessible, fluid stylist who at times weaves hip-hop, gospel and R&B influences through his compositions, Glasper is a musically illuminating cat with a limitless future in modern jazz.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | February 22, 2008
Be Kind Rewind ends with a community get-together that's meant to be as up-with-people and ebullient as an Obama campaign stop. Too bad the movie tries to get there on a ragged wing and a doggerel prayer. Some of the smartest people around have been yearning so strongly for renewal that they take any skeptical or realistic jibe as a mortal slight. The only hope for Be Kind Rewind, a pathetic new piece of whimsy from the cult fantasist Michel Gondry, is that it taps into those inchoate expectations of change flooding the country.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | September 21, 2007
Two weeks ago on Real Time With Bill Maher, it was shocking to hear Mos Def, maybe the best actor in pictures today, express his belief that Sept. 11 was an inside job and the moon landing was a set-up. In the Shadow of the Moon, a vibrant documentary on the Apollo missions, is so inspiring it could turn conspiracy theorists like Mos Def into true believers. It's both irrefutably concrete and irresistibly uplifting. The British director David Sington uses stunning archival footage and a string of interviews with astronauts to construct a personal history of the race to beat the Soviets to the moon that has the buildup, velocity, setbacks and catharses of a classic drama.
ENTERTAINMENT
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 13, 2006
These picks will help take the drag out of click-and-drag music choices. Some downloads may contain explicit lyrics. Free. "California Girls," Gretchen Wilson, music.aol.com/artist/gretchen-wilson/657188/main: Wilson bucks cultural stereotypes as a country girl on the beach, Daisy Dukes and all, but her barb is directed in much the same direction as Pink's recent "Stupid Girls." It's not a particularly new idea - merely a gender transference of John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" or hundreds of other like-minded tunes - and the video doesn't deepen the discussion, but the mere appearance of a country artist on a California beach is significant.
FEATURES
By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 3, 2006
What happens when a tragic burnout meets a determined optimist? Well, we all know the answer to that, right? The optimist wins, the burnout is revived and all is well once again with the world. That's a pretty standard Hollywood formula, which makes 16 Blocks a pretty standard Hollywood picture. But in the capable hands of director Richard Donner (Die Hard) and screenwriter Richard Wenk, that's a very good thing - especially when the resulting movie marks an intriguing new chapter in an established actor's career and an exciting milestone in that of a relative newcomer.
NEWS
By Rashod D. Ollison | September 9, 2005
AT 26, ROBERT GLASPER is already impressive - a gifted jazz musician with a brilliant, energetic technique and a fresh, mesmerizing sense of melody and composition. A native of Houston, Texas, Glasper will release Canvas, his exuberant debut for Blue Note Records, Oct. 4. He will bring his playful, Herbie-Hancock-influenced style to Washington's Blues Alley Nov. 9. His critically well received first album, Mood, was released on the independent Fresh Sound New Talent label in 2003. Based in New York, Glasper has backed an interesting range of artists, including Carly Simon, Q-Tip and Mos Def. An accessible, fluid stylist who at times weaves hip-hop, gospel and R&B influences through his compositions, Glasper is a musically illuminating cat with a limitless future in modern jazz.
ENTERTAINMENT
By NEWSDAY | August 11, 2005
As Andre 3000, he is pure starchild -- the more bodacious half of the hip-hop duo OutKast, and a natural ham. This is the guy who cast himself as the entire band in his video for the 2003 smash "Hey Ya!," like a clotheshorse version of a funky Sybil. But as Andre Benjamin, the actor, he is pensive and soft-spoken. He wears denim pants and a plain white shirt. Only his familiar straw hat, sitting on the coffee table before him, gives him away. Fans could get used to seeing this side of Benjamin.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 4, 2005
SUN SCORE ** 1/2 The Woodsman clicks mostly when it depicts the brooding romance between a child molester (Kevin Bacon) just released from prison and the fierce, determined woman (Kyra Sedgwick) who breaks into his zone of privacy. In real life, Bacon and Sedgwick are husband and wife. Their scenes mark one of the rare times an off-screen couple's intimacy enriches on-screen passion. Bacon plays a man petrified by his own impulses; emotionally and physically, he's blanched. Sedgwick plays a robust, chin-first woman who works with him at a lumberyard and senses that he has "a dark, deep secret."
NEWS
By LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 30, 2009
Series The Big Bang Theory: : Penny (Kaley Cuoco) develops a rivalry with a sexy new neighbor (Valerie Azlynn). (8 p.m., WJZ-Channel 13) Chuck: : A heartless agent is sent to evaluate Sarah's (Yvonne Strahovski) performance as Chuck's (Zachary Levi) handler after he reveals his feelings about her. (8 p.m., WBAL-Channel 11) House: : A man (Mos Def) awakens in a New York hospital after a bicycle accident, unable to move or communicate. (8 p.m., WBFF-Channel 45) Greek: : As a new season gets under way, Casey (Spencer Grammer)
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 4, 2005
SUN SCORE ** 1/2 The Woodsman clicks mostly when it depicts the brooding romance between a child molester (Kevin Bacon) just released from prison and the fierce, determined woman (Kyra Sedgwick) who breaks into his zone of privacy. In real life, Bacon and Sedgwick are husband and wife. Their scenes mark one of the rare times an off-screen couple's intimacy enriches on-screen passion. Bacon plays a man petrified by his own impulses; emotionally and physically, he's blanched. Sedgwick plays a robust, chin-first woman who works with him at a lumberyard and senses that he has "a dark, deep secret."
FEATURES
By Rashod D. Ollison and Rashod D. Ollison,SUN POP MUSIC CRITIC | December 22, 2004
When Mos Def's latest album, The New Danger, dropped in October, I prematurely called it one of the best rap albums to come out this year. I was just excited that the artist had finally released a follow-up to his excellent 1999 debut, the gold-selling Black on Both Sides. But I have lived with the latest CD for the last two months. And I must confess: The New Danger is overly ambitious, full of grand intentions that never really fly. Rock (early Funkadelic, a little Jimi Hendrix) is clearly his style inspiration throughout, but his ambitions nearly swallow him on the record.
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