Even before Nipsey Hussle laid down his first verse on “Higher,” DJ Khaled predicted he had a Grammy-nominated hit on his hands.
At Khaled’s home in Miami, the hip-hop stars had deep and personal conversations about topics outside of music — family life, street life, entrepreneurship, future goals and more — before recording the song. Hussle even told Khaled how his grandmother had 12 miscarriages before giving birth to his mother.
“Walking to the studio I was telling Nipsey, ‘Man, that stuff you were talking about, you should put that in a song one day.’ I was telling him, ‘When I hear songs from Jay-Z, Biggie, Pac and Nas, when they tell their stories about their life, not only do you believe it, you feel it,’” Khaled said. “It’s like street gospel.”
Moments later, Hussle did re-tell those stories in a song — that song — one of the last he recorded before his tragic death on March 31, 2019. Hussle was shot to death outside his Marathon clothing store in the South Los Angeles neighborhood where he is from; Eric Holder Jr. was charged with the slaying and is expected to face trial in the coming weeks.
“I knew it was special out the gate. Working with Nipsey Hussle was special. I told Nipsey that God willing, we will get nominated for a Grammy … I spoke that into existence,” Khaled said. “We both felt the same. We knew making this record was Grammy-worthy.”
Khaled was right.
“Higher,” which also features John Legend, is nominated for best rap/sung performance at Sunday’s show, which will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It comes a year after Hussle scored his first-ever Grammy nod for best rap album with his major-label debut, “Victory Lap.”
“It took 10 people to make that song happen over the course of four months,” said Steve “Steve-O” Carless, Hussle’s manager and business partner, said of “Higher.”
“We finally got it done. If that one wins, that will be a special one for me,” he said. I’d probably collapse on the ground for that one.”
But Hussle could win more than one trophy: His song “Racks in the Middle,” featuring Hit-Boy and Roddy Ricch, was recorded a day after last year’s Grammys and is nominated for both best rap song and best rap performance.
“I was really shocked by that one because we had no idea that song would get recognized. (Nipsey) was so adamant about putting that song out right after the Grammy’s last year,” Carless said. “The label was concerned that we didn’t have enough time and runway to set it up. (Nipsey) was adamant about bypassing all the traditional (methods), upload protocols with the streaming partners and (was) all about calling everyone directly because he felt like that record was a moment for his career. … and now it’s nominated for two awards at the Grammys. Emotional and gratifying.”
Outside of possible award wins, Sunday’s show will pay tribute to Hussle with a performance featuring Khaled, Legend, Ricch, Kirk Franklin, Meek Mill and YG.
“It’s bittersweet because he’s not here to physically receive it or to see it, but I know because of the type of man he was and how hard he worked, that it is a positive addition to his legacy,” Hussle’s fiancée, actress Lauren London, said in an interview.
“I’m just proud of him,” she added. “It’s not the happiest time of my life, but I know … what he wanted his message to be, and it’s beautiful to watch that that’s still alive and strong.”
While Hussle has received praise for being a skilled rapper, he’s also been honored for being an activist who tried to unite and build up his community. That side of Hussle, as well as his life as a loving father, was celebrated at his public memorial service held at the Staples Center last year. His funeral was the first held at the concert arena since Michael Jackson’s in 2009.
And throughout the year, the man who cared so much about rebuilding the Los Angeles streets that raised him has been celebrated: At the BET Awards, he earned the Humanitarian Award and was named best male hip-hop artist. At the MTV Video Music Awards, “Higher” was nominated for best hip-hop video.
Legend recalls meeting Hussle on the set of “Higher” since they recorded their vocals for the song separately.
“It was actually very cool because we were on a high-rise parking structure in South L.A. and you could see his neighborhood from where we were shooting the video and he was just showing me where he grew up all from, like, a bird’s eye view,” Legend said. “You could just tell how proud he was of where he was from, how connected he was to where he was from.”
“It was authentic,” he added. “It was very cool to see him in his element and it made it all the more tragic to know that just a couple days later he would have his life taken.”
Eastwood Backs Bloomberg, Criticizes Trump’s Tweets – NBC4 Washington
Actor and director Clint Eastwood, who had been complimentary to President Donald Trump in the past, is backing former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg for president in 2020.
“The best thing we could do is just get Mike Bloomberg in there,” he told The Wall Street Journal.
Eastwood also said he wished Trump would “act in a more genteel way,” expressing disdain for his “tweeting and calling people names.”
“I would personally like for him to not bring himself to that level,” Eastwood added.
The California native backed Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“That’s a tough one, isn’t it?” Eastwood said during that race. “I’d have to go for Trump.”
Comedian Brad Williams Raises More Than $430,000 to Send Bullied 9-Year-Old Quaden Bayles to Disneyland – NBC4 Washington
Devastated after again being targeted at school for his dwarfism, a sobbing Quaden Bayles repeatedly told his mother that he wanted to die.
The 9-year-old Australian’s deep distress went viral on social media after his mother, Yarraka Bayles, posted a six-minute video clip.
“This is what bullying is doing and I want people to know how much this is hurting us as a family,” she says in the video, which has been viewed more than 19 million times. “This is the impact that bullying has on a 9-year-old kid that just wants to go to school, get an education and have fun.”
Her appeal sparked an outpouring of worldwide support for the bullied boy, including from celebrities and athletes.
Australian actor Hugh Jackman said “you are stronger than you know, mate” and urged people to “be kind” to each other, while Eric Trump — the son of U.S. President Donald Trump — said the video was “absolutely heartbreaking.”
“This is one of the hardest videos I’ve watched,” Boston Celtics basketball player Enes Kanter wrote on Twitter. “No place in the world for bullies.”
A GoFundMe page started by American comedian Brad Williams has raised more than $434,834 in an effort to send Bayles on a trip to Disneyland in California, far surpassing its $10,000 goal.
“This isn’t just for Quaden, this is for anyone who has been bullied in their lives and told they weren’t good enough,” said Williams, who has the same dwarfism condition of Achondroplasia.
Williams later thanked people who donated and sent heartfelt messages to Bayles for the “unbelievable” love they’d shown. He also assured donators that a team of people would ensure the story and the donation process were legitimate after some social media users called the video a hoax.
“Money donated will not be wasted!” Williams wrote on Twitter. “We thank you for your generosity and patience while we make sure all this is done the right way.”
Bayles, who is Aboriginal Australian, has been invited to lead the Indigenous All-Stars out onto the field in their rugby league clash with the Maori All Stars in Queensland on Saturday.
“We could never have dreamt in our wildest dreams that it would’ve gone worldwide and created such a media frenzy,” Yarraka Bayles told reporters on Friday. “There are way too many people suffering in silence and my heart goes out to those families that have already lost their children to bullying. It’s an international crisis and it demands urgent attention.”
With Dick Van Dyke’s Endorsement, Sanders Seeks Hipster Replacements – NBC4 Washington
Actor Dick Van Dyke’s video endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders for president lit up social media Friday night as the 94-year-old co-star of the original “Mary Poppins” tried to persuade people of his generation to vote for the candidate known for his younger supporters, NBC News reported.
Sanders, 78, already enjoys unusual support from voters native to the digital age as he seeks the Democratic nomination for president. Van Dyke wants to see more of his cohorts, who aren’t big social media users, get behind the Independent senator from Vermont.
In the video posted to Sanders’ Twitter account Friday evening, Van Dyke says, “It just doesn’t make sense to me that he’s not getting my generation. And I want to urge my generation to get out and vote for him, please.”
NBC News exit poll data from the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary earlier this month found Sanders was the top choice among those 44 or younger, and he fared even better with the 18-to-29 crowd. Voters 45 and older were more likely to prefer Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 59, D-Minnesota, and Pete Buttigieg, 38, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
‘Friends’ Reunion Coming to HBO Max – NBC4 Washington
Let’s call this simply “The One With the Reunion.”
After months of rumors, the ‘Friends’ reunion is officially happening. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry have signed on to participate in a taped unscripted reunion special for HBO Max, the new streaming home of ‘Friends.’
The special and all episodes will be available at launch time of HBO Max in May 2020. Ben Winston will direct the special and will executive produce along with ‘Friends’ executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer will also executive produce the special. Emma Conway and James Longman are co-executive producers.
Jennifer Aniston broke a Guinness World Record when she gained one million Instagram followers in just five hours and sixteen minutes after her account went live. The “Friends” star dethroned the previous record holders: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire ‘Friends’ library,” Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TBS, TNT, and truTV, said in a statement.
“I became aware of ‘Friends’ when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends – and audiences – gathered together in real time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans,” his statement continued.
According to reports, the six got a big payday for the special. And let’s be clear: This isn’t a revival or reboot. It’s just six pals, who played friends on TV, getting together to talk about their 25-year-old show. The closest viewers got to a televised ‘Friends’ reunion was in 2016 when Kudrow, Aniston, Cox, Schwimmer and LeBlanc got together to honor director James Burrows on an NBC special.
The six real-life friends and former costars have gotten together off camera recently, as documented in Aniston’s debut Instagram post. In early February, Perry became the sixth and final costar to join the social media platform.
‘Friends’ ran for 10 seasons from 1994-2004 on NBC. The comedy made its streaming debut on Netflix in 2015 and stayed there until the beginning of 2020. WarnerMedia reportedly spent some big bucks to get ‘Friends’ on HBO Max.
“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is ‘Friends,'” Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, said in a statement when HBO Max was officially announced.
“Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries — Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions)—and two of the most experienced digital experts—Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell—I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it.”
Google Doodle Pays Tribute to Beloved Mexican Comedian ‘Chespirito’ – NBC4 Washington
Google Doodle is paying tribute to the iconic Mexican comedian Roberto Gomez Bolaños on what would have been his 91st birthday.
Known as “Chespirito,” which means “Little Shakespeare,” Bolaños wrote and played the boy television character “El Chavo del Ocho” (The Boy From No. 8) that defined a generation for millions of Latin American children. His other famous character was the naive superhero “El Chapulin Colorado,” or “The Crimson Grasshopper.”
Born in Mexico City on Feb. 21, 1929, Bolaños had a degree in engineering, but was dedicated to writing from a young age.
Talented both on the screen and behind it, he found early success contributing to some of Mexico’s highest-rated television and radio programs before get his big break in 1970 with the creation of “Chespirito,” a sketch comedy show that included segments about “The Crimson Grasshopper.”
The goofy superhero donned a red bodysuit and hood with antennas that helped him detect danger miles away. He layered it with yellow shorts and boots. The character, whose superpowers included shrinking to the size of a pill and dodging enemies, constantly repeated his signature phrases, “You didn’t count on my cleverness” and “All the good people, follow me.”
In 1971, Bolaños debuted the character “El Chavo del Ocho,” the quirky 8-year old orphan with freckles, striped shirt and frayed cap. Many Latin Americans, living under dictatorships during the height of the show, found his underdog triumphs heroic in the face of authority.
Both characters went on to earn their own shows.
For more than 40 years, Chespirito created hundreds of episodes of television shows, as well as movies and plays. Chespirito died in 2014 at age 85.
His legacy lives on in the series’ reruns, which have been translated into more than 50 languages and are still shown on television networks globally, including Spanish language television in the United States. El Chavo’s famous catchphrase “Fue sin querer queriendo,” or “accidentally on purpose,” is commonly quoted by Latin Americans.
“Gracias for all the laughs, Chespirito—your infectious smile brings joy to families around the world!” Google wrote in a blog post explaining Friday’s doodle.
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