Posts made in October 2023

Original Series set in the Wild West

In November, Lawmen: Bass Reeves joins the elite collection of Paramount+ Original Series set in the Wild West. Created for television by executive producer, writer and showrunner Chad Feehan and executive produced by Taylor Sheridan and series lead David Oyelowo, the show tells the gripping story of U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves (Oyelowo), famed for apprehending more than 3,000 outlaws during his time. We sat down with Feehan to get his insights into the creation of the series.

• Not enough Americans know about Bass Reeves, the first Black U.S. deputy marshal west of the Mississippi; what attracted you to telling this story?

I was attracted by the triumph of his spirit. Bass Reeves was a real-life superhero, who overcame unimaginable circumstances and dedicated his life to justice and equality in a lawless region of American history. I’m honored and humbled to be a part of the team that celebrates Bass’ legacy.

• Expanding on that, can you talk about how important it was to authentically depict the diversity of Texas during this time period?

Our series begins with enslavement and carries through Reconstruction to the first cruel whispers of Jim Crow. During this time, Texas, the Indian Territory and Arkansas were home to multiple cultures, races and creeds. Not only was it important to depict that as authentically as possible, but more so, we wanted to explore the universality of the human condition and the emotionality that connects all of us.

• What was it like to collaborate with David Oyelowo as you developed the series and the title character?

In my opinion, television writing is a team sport. Not only does that include a wide array of voices in the writers’ room, but it also extends to historians, researchers and various experts. Our series was incredibly fortunate to rely on the likes of David as well as Sidney Thompson, Mo Brings Plenty and many others, who shepherded us into recreating an authentic picture of the American West.

• Without giving any spoilers, what are you most excited for audiences to see?

I’m excited for our audiences to see a portrayal of Bass Reeves – the lawman, the husband and the father – as well as experience a story that’s thrilling, heroic and emotionally complex.

No one is above the law when Lawmen: Bass Reeves premieres on November 5

The Burial

Jeremiah O’Keefe (Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones) is a pillar of his community. A decorated World War II veteran and former two-term mayor of his hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi, he and his wife Annette (Pamela Reed) have raised their family while running a funeral home and burial insurance business. When Jeremiah runs into financial trouble, he worries about destroying his legacy and his beloved business, which had been in his family for over a century.

To avoid bankruptcy, he agrees to sell three of his eight funeral homes to The Loewen Group, a multi-national funeral home conglomerate run by Ray Loewen (Bill Camp). However, months after the paperwork is drawn, the deal still isn’t fully executed. Realizing that Loewen is stalling for time, Jeremiah decides to sue and hires Willie E. Gary.

Willie E. Gary (Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx) is a personal injury attorney and real showman. He knows his way around a courtroom and can play to any judge or jury. With his wife Gloria (Amanda Warren) by his side, he’s worked his way up from poverty to become one of the most successful and wealthy attorneys in the country.

Initially, Willie has no intention of taking on a contract law dispute. Then Hal Dockins (Mamoudou Athie), a young Black attorney on Jeremiah’s team and a college friend of his son, convinces Willie that their case has the potential of being extremely lucrative and could result in a groundbreaking victory that would catapult his career to even greater heights.

Willie wastes no time, demanding no less than a $100 million from Loewen, a seemingly outrageous sum that draws jeers from Loewen’s lawyers. But Loewen isn’t laughing. Instead, he hires a prominent attorney by the name of Mame Downes (Jurnee Smollett). The legal battle takes surprising turns that raise the stakes even higher, but outside of the courtroom, Jerry and Willie find common ground and a mutual respect that makes the outcome of the trial about more than money.

Inspired by true events, The Burial is based on The New Yorker article of the same name by Jonathan Harr, with a screenplay co-written by Doug Wright and Maggie Betts, who also directs, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Jamie Foxx, Jurnee Smollett, Mamoudou Athie, Pamela Reed, with Bill Camp and Alan Ruck. Producers are Celine Rattray, p.g.a., Trudie Styler, p.g.a., Jamie Foxx, p.g.a., Datari Turner, p.g.a., Jenette Kahn, p.g.a., Adam Richman, p.g.a., Bobby Shriver, p.g.a..

The team behind the camera includes casting by Kim Coleman, CSA, music supervisor Liza Richardson, music by Michael Abels, edited by Lee Percy, ACE, Jay Cassidy, ACE, production designer Kay Lee, director of photography Maryse Alberti.

Amazon MGM Studios presents, a Double Nickel Entertainment, Bobby Shriver Productions, Foxxhole Productions, and Maven Screen Media Production, The Burial, in select theaters October 6 and streaming globally on Prime Video October 13.

LL COOL J Presents The Streets Win: 50 Years of Hip-Hop Greatness

Author LL COOL J and Vikki Tobak and Alec Banks

Co-authored by Hip-Hop legend LL COOL J, acclaimed journalist Vikki Tobak and Rock The Bells’ editorial director Alec Banks, this momentous volume celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the influential culture, sound, and preeminent voices of American Hip-Hop music.

LL COOL J Presents The Streets Win commemorates the birth, rise, and progression of Hip-Hop’s culture and its indisputable impact on American music over the past fifty years. Vikki Tobak, Alec Banks and LL COOL J reveal the journey of this music genre through rarely seen photographs of Hip-Hop from its inception, from block party performances to street shots, parties, sessions at recording studios, and more. The imagery is accompanied by first-person recollections from Hip-Hop’s MCs, B-Boys, graffiti artists, and DJs who share how they fell in love with Hip-Hop, broke into the business, their artistic and personal style inspiration, and their views on Hip-Hop’s culture and music. Stories are told by icons DJ Kool Herc, Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, KRS-One, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Grandmaster Flash, Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys, De La Soul, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Big Daddy Kane, Fat Joe, DJ Khaled and more.

Each page features a treasure trove of images by celebrated Hip-Hop photographers including Joe Conzo Jr., Ernie “Brother Ernie” Paniccioli, Jonathan Mannion, Janette Beckman, Estevan Oriol, Jamel Shabazz, Mike Miller, Clay Patrick McBride, and others who documented the growth; ephemera such as album covers, notebook drawings, and lyrics; party announcements; street scenes; clothing; and graffiti art. This definitive volume of the most important origin stories from the last fifty years of Hip-Hop is the perfect gift for music and photography fans.

About The Author

LL COOL J is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy Award-winning Hip-Hop icon, Kennedy Center Honoree, actor, New York Times best-selling author, philanthropist, founder and CEO of Rock The Bells. Vikki Tobakis an author, journalist, and curator of music photography and contemporary culture. Alec Banks is a journalist and the editorial director of Rock the Bells.

Publish Date: October 03, 2023
Format: Hardcover
Category: Music – Genres & Styles – Rap & Hip Hop
Publisher: Rizzoli
Trim Size: 9-1/4 x 12-1/2
Pages: 336
US Price: $55.00
CDN Price: $75.00
ISBN: 978-0-8478-7316-6