OUTDOORS IS OPEN AND ATLANTA IS THE PLACE TO GATHER!

This Camping, Glamping, Jamming All-Night Concert will be the Summer Celebration Event you’ve been waiting for all year!

Celebration Event you’ve been waiting for all year!

A CULTURAL VERZUZ: ATL VS THE WEST INDIES

This Camping, Glamping, Jamming All-Night Concert
set for July 17th will be the Summer Celebration Event
you’ve been waiting for all year! 

Produced by D.A.T. Distribution and Tours, headed by entertainment maverick Mark Skeete, THE ATLANTA CAMPING & GLAMPING DIVE-IN CONCERT is going to change the game and allow music lovers and concert goers to safely return to the enjoyment of music, with the covering being blown off of the venues that we haven’t re-entered post COVID-19. With an assemblage of hot and hilarious comedians and a musical smorgasbord of artists from R&B, jazz and all of the music of the Caribbean, this power-packed event will prove to be iconic because it has never happened before! “This is going to be the music of Black America in Atlanta meeting the whole scope of music from the islands. It’s gonna be FREAKNIK VERZUZ CARNIVAL! HIP-HOP VERZUZ DANCEHALL! It is ATLANTA VERZUZ THE WEST INDIES and all those who are fans of great music and entertainment will be declared the winners! THE ATLANTA CAMPING & GLAMPING DRIVE-IN CONCERT will be a multicultural get-together for people who love music, love entertainment and who need to know that they are safe to enjoy it all outside, where transmission is all but eliminated and where they are gathered with the people they have already been with in their pods and personal spaces. So they can get to the PARTY!”

The brainchild of Skeete, who has been in the music, television, film and concert landscape for decades (having worked with everyone in entertainment from superproducer Dr. Dre to TV and film director Ted Demme, and who helped to establish some of the current-day titans of the industry), this innovative Drive-In
Concert, hosted The Georgia International Horse Park, will feature such musical talents as R&B supergroup Surface (with their #1 hits “Shower Me with Your Love,” “The First Time” and their monster jam “Happy”) and The Rude Boys will take the stage with their #1 smash hit “Written All Over Your Face,” along with the jazz stylings of the beautiful Julie Dexter and the smooth saxophone of Trey Daniels, along with comedians and a Caribbean line- up sure to turn the ATL into the spot to be, all night long! THE ATLANTA CAMPING AND GLAMPING DRIVE-IN CONCERT
will go from 6PM to 6AM and after 11PM, concertgoers will have the option of turning it up but tuning in for the silent party (where you can tune your headsets into the music directly), so that they can keep on jamming without the music blasting!

The visionary that is Mark Skeete has touched every corner of the entertainment industry, born in the UK before moving to and being raised in the Caribbean before making his way to America. He grew up with the likes of Tony Thompson, the ferocious drummer from the iconic group Chic and Freedom Williams from
C&C Music Factory. He got Ed Lover to MTV and helped turn entertainment mogul Steve Stoute into the industry giant he is today. So when the idea came to him to bring people together, safely but in a big way, and others said no, Skeete bought land and took the idea of this new Woodstock meets protection protocols and social distancing and launched an idea whose time has come and whose audience has been waiting!   

He is an amalgamation of all that is THE CULTURE and he is bringing it all together for this ALL NIGHT THING! “I have always followed my gut when it comes to the chances I take and the choices I make. I think that this is the wave of the future, especially as we work on how we come out of all we’ve been through in the last year plus. People can enjoy the music and the comedy and the culture and each other, without the stuff we still don’t talk about being in our heads. We want the people to have a great time and we are putting together a monster of a show! 
THE ATLANTA CAMPING AND GLAMPING DRIVE-IN CONCERT is going to be FIYAH! People are calling to see if we have room vehicles the size of buses. We are going to make this a SUMMER CELEBRATION!” The Atlanta Camping and Glamping Drive-In Concert sounds the musical trumpet to the world that says on July 17th,

WELCOME AMERICA!
WELCOME TO ATLANTA!
WE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS

For info – www.datdrivein.com

Media inquiries – Double XXposure, angelo@dxxnyc.com

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PR/Media Contact

Angelo A. Ellerbee

Double XXposure Media Relations
www.dxxnyc.com

(201)224-6570
angelo@dxxnyc.com

Summer of Soul – RE Classics (Instant Classic) feature

Follow the link below for the exclusive RE Classics feature:

https://youtu.be/OS715-eUmlE

Published on Jul 2, 2021

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

(Searchlight Pictures)

Release: 07/02/2021

It’s always great to see the Mighty “Roots” crew reach new heights. We here at RETV feel especially proud because we are close to sure that we were the first East Coast outlet to play the “Distortion to Static” music video in 1994 – shout to Charles Stone III. But we better check with the Legendary Ralph McDaniels of “Music Video Box” just to be sure.

So when Searchlight Pictures invited us behind the scenes and to privately screen Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s pet project “Summer of Soul,” we had no idea we would be apart of experiencing a miracle in life and in documentary film making. To go further, the film is a clear example of ancestral communication in its purest form. A lot of that has been going on lately. People of color continue to press on in all chose fields. To channel the legendary Emcee “KRS-ONE” from his 1990 Classic – .”..the Blackman is in effect!! ”

SUMMER OF SOUL is an Instant Classic – period! Not only because Quest is a legendary musician and music historian, but because the first time feature length doc director was exposed to an essential historic relic and marched full steam ahead until the legendary artist and the filmmakers from that time, got the shine that they all deserved. The film found zero interest from the 1960’s television and film industry and soon found itself buried for 50 years – in the basement!

So Questlove and his team crafted a master piece. Delivering a story that not only marvels the mind blowing collection minority entertainers, (some that didn’t even make the cut!) he also intertwined the important social commentary about the plight of the people during one of the the most tumultuous periods in American history. Detrimental societal ills such as, poverty, deliberate economic injustices, inadequate education – too name a few.

This miracle is an Instant Classic because it gives us valuable moments to reflect on our predecessors path and hopefully continue to use their spirit as a beacon for our future endeavors!

Do not miss this experience. You’ll live to regret it.

– RETV/RE Classics

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion.

Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten–until now.

SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.“Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised),” is the first official project under the recently announced Onyx Collective brand.

The winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival will be released theatrically by Searchlight Pictures and will begin streaming on Hulu in the U.S. on July 2, 2021. The film will also stream internationally through the Star offering on Disney+ on a date to be confirmed.

Directed By

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

For more exciting Entertainment programming log on to https://www.rapentertainment.com

#summerofsoul #Questlove #hulu #searchlightpictures #reclassics

FOREIGNER ANNOUNCES RETURN TO THE ROAD WITH 121 DATE, YEAR-LONG TREK ACROSS SIXTEEN COUNTRIES US TOUR KICKS OFF JUNE 24th IN IOWA

June 17, 2021 – “I Want To Know What Love Is,” “Cold As Ice,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” “Hot Blooded,” “Juke Box Hero.” FOREIGNER‘s timeless anthems include ten multi-platinum albums and 16 US Billboard Top 30. Universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world, with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, FOREIGNER now brings these hits back to concert stages across the world with the announcement of a 121-date concert tour across sixteen countries. The US leg of FOREIGNER’s world tour takes the band to 71 cities in 42 states. The 2022 leg will be announced in November. For tickets and more information, visit www.foreigneronline.com.

Says founding member, lead guitarist and FOREIGNER songwriter Mick Jones, “Live music is at the heart of what we do and I’m thrilled to be back on the road and visiting so many places over the next year. Looking forward to seeing you all out there.”

Adds FOREIGNER lead singer Kelly Hansen, “I am so looking forward to getting our feet back on stage and the crowd in front of us! I have read and heard so much about how people want to get back to live music. It’s such a part of the fabric of who we are and we can’t wait to get out there and reclaim this piece of our lives. Can’t wait to rock it out!”

Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems including “Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Say You Will,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Long, Long Way From Home” and the worldwide #1 hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” FOREIGNER still rocks the charts more than 40 years into the game with massive airplay and continued Billboard Top 200 album success. Audio and video streams of FOREIGNER’s hits are over 15 million per week.

FOREIGNER‘s founder is Songwriters Hall of Fame member Mick Jones. A visionary maestro whose stylistic songwriting, indelible guitar hooks and multi-layered talents continue to escalate FOREIGNER‘s influence and guide the band to new horizons.

FOREIGNER is: Mick Jones (guitar), Kelly Hansen (lead vocals), Jeff Pilson (bass, vocals), Michael Bluestein (keyboards, vocals), Bruce Watson (guitar, vocals), Chris Frazier (drums) and Luis Carlos Maldonado (guitar, vocals).

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

Thursday, June 24 Ottumwa, IA – Bridge View Center
Friday, June 25 Sioux Falls, SD – Washington Pavilion
Saturday, June 26 Bismarck, ND – Bismarck Civic Center
Tuesday, June 29 Casper, WY – Casper Events Center
Wednesday, June 30 Billings, MT – MetraPark Arena
Friday, July 2 Welch, MN – Treasure Island Great Lawn
Sunday, July 4 Fort Bragg, NC – Pope Army Airfield
Tuesday, July 27 Fresno, CA – Saroyan Theatre
Wednesday, July 28 Prescott Valley, AZ – Findlay Toyota Center
Friday, July 30 West Valley, UT – Maverick Center
Saturday, July 31 Grand Junction, CO – Los Colonias Park Amphitheater
Sunday, August 1 Rio Rancho, NM – Rio Rancho Events Center
Wednesday, August 4 Lubbock, TX – Buddy Holly Hall
Thursday, August 5 Enid, OK – Stride Bank Center
Saturday, August 7 Park City, KS – Hartman Arena
Sunday, August 8 North Little Rock, AR – Simmons Bank Arena
Tuesday, August 10 West Allis, WI – Wisconsin State Fair
Wednesday, August 11 Cedar Rapids, IA – McGrath Amphitheatre
Friday, August 13 Arcadia, WI – Ashley For The Arts
Saturday, August 14 Interlochen, MI – Kresge Auditorium
Sunday, August 15 Peoria, IL – Civic Center Arena
Tuesday, August 17 Kettering, OH – Fraze Pavilion
Wednesday, August 18 Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
Friday, August 20 Doswell, VA – AfterHours at Meadow Event Park
Saturday, August 21 Selbyville, DE – The Freeman Stage at Bayside
Monday, August 23 Syracuse, NY – New York State Fair
Wednesday, August 25 Bridgeport, CT – Hartford Healthcare Amphitheatre
Thursday, August 26 Webster, MA – Indian Ranch
Friday, August 27 Cohasset, MA – South Shore Music Circus
Saturday, August 28 Hyannis, MA – Cape Cod Melody Tent
Thursday, September 9 Grand Forks, ND – Alerus Center
Friday, September 10 Rapid City, SD – Rushmore Plaza Civic Center
Saturday, September 11 Butte, MT – Civic Center
Tuesday, September 14 Everett, WA – Angel of the Winds Arena
Wednesday, September 15 Nampa, ID – Ford Idaho Event Center
Thursday, September 16 Airway Heights, WA – Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Saturday, September 18 Fort Hall, ID – Fort Hall Casino
Tuesday, September 21 Bend, OR – Les Schwab Amphitheater
Wednesday, September 22 Kennewick, WA – Toyota Center
Sunday, September 26 Reno, NV – Grand Theatre at Grand Sierra Resort
Wednesday, September 29 Saratoga, CA – Mountain Winery (orchestral)
Friday, October 1 Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre (orchestral)
Saturday, October 2 Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl (orchestral)
Monday, October 11 Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre (orchestral)
Tuesday, October 12 Youngstown, OH – Foundation Amphitheater (orchestral)
Wednesday, October 13 Grand Rapids, MI – Van Andel Arena (orchestral)
Friday, October 15 Johnson City, TN – Freedom Hall Civic Center
Sunday, October 17 Knoxville, TN – Civic Auditorium
Monday, October 18 Columbus, OH – Palace Theatre
Tuesday, October 19 Charleston, WV – Municipal Auditorium
Thursday, October 21 Reading, PA – Santander Performing Arts Center
Friday, October 22 Wilkes Barre, PA – F.M. Kirby Center
Saturday, October 23 Baltimore, MD – MECU Pavilion
Monday, October 25 Providence, RI – Performing Arts Center
Wednesday, October 27 Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theatre
Thursday, October 28 Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
Friday, October 29 New Brunswick, NJ – State Theatre
Saturday, October 30 Atlantic City, NJ – Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
Thursday, November 4 Corbin, KY – Corbin Arena
Friday, November 5 Springfield, IL – UIS Sangamon Auditorium
Saturday, November 6 Southaven, MS – Landers Center
Monday, November 8 Savannah, GA – John Mercer Theatre
Tuesday, November 9 Augusta, GA – Bell Auditorium
Wednesday, November 10 Greenville, SC – Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Friday, November 12 Macon, GA – Macon City Auditorium
Saturday, November 13 Tupelo, MS – Bancorp South Arena
Sunday, November 14 Brandon, MS – Brandon Amphitheater
Tuesday, November 16 Huntsville, AL – Mark C. Smith Concert Hall
Wednesday, November 17 Birmingham, AL – BJCC Concert Hall
Friday, November 19 Biloxi, MS – IP Casino Resort & Spa
Saturday, November 20 Pensacola, FL – Saenger Theater

Please check www.foreigneronline.com for updates and more information.

www.facebook.com/Foreigner
www.twitter.com/ForeignerMusic
www.instagram.com/foreignerlive
www.youtube.com/user/FWebTeam

SHOWTIME® DOCUMENTARY FILMS ANNOUNCES NEW DOCU-SERIES UFO FROM EMMY® WINNER J.J. ABRAMS’ BAD ROBOT

All Four Episodes Will Be Available to SHOWTIME Subscribers on Premiere Date Sunday, August 8

LOS ANGELES – June 16, 2021 – SHOWTIME announced it will air UFO, a four-part docu-series from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and Glen Zipper exploring our fascination with unidentified flying objects, and what clandestine influence the American government, lucrative private companies and the military may have in shielding the truth behind extraterrestrial phenomena to further their own agendas. Directed by Mark Monroe (Icarus) and Paul Crowder (Riding Giants), the series explores unsettling theories of a subject that recently reached national headlines, and has historically been the focus of powerful politicians and CEOs, while average citizens pursuing the very same truth have been ridiculed and ostracized. The series is a co-production by Bad Robot and Zipper Bros Films. SHOWTIME will release all four episodes of the new series UFO to its subscribers at midnight on Sunday, August 8, prior to its on-air debut that night at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Ignited by the bombshell New York Times story in 2017 revealing that the Pentagon had been secretly tracking UFOs for years, the series examines the history of the phenomenon through cultural and political touchpoints, including shocking testimony from eyewitnesses across the country. As the conversation grows more bizarre and reaches the mainstream by virtue of credible investigations into alien encounters, UFO confronts the most enigmatic questions of all: Why do we believe what we believe? And what is the elusive truth beyond this decades long mystery?

UFO is executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Glen Zipper, Mark Monroe and Sean Stuart along with Ben Stephenson and Rachel Rusch Rich from Bad Robot. The series is co-executive produced by Kevin Lincoln and produced by Maren Domzalski and Paul McGuire.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc., owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME®, which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and Showtime.com, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go to www.SHO.com.

RISE AGAIN TULSA AND THE RED SUMMER

National Geographic Documentary Films, in partnership with acclaimed filmmaker Dawn Porter (“The Way I See It,” “Good Trouble: John Lewis”) and Trailblazer Studios, is set to premiere the feature documentary that sheds new light on a century-old period of intense racial conflict. RISE AGAIN: TULSA AND THE RED SUMMERcomes one hundred years from the two-day Tulsa Massacre in 1921 that led to the murder of hundreds of Black people and left thousands homeless and displaced. The film will premiere on National Geographic on Friday, June 18, at 9 p.m. ET/PT and will air globally in 172 countries and 43 languages. It will also be available to stream on Hulu the same day, commemorating Juneteenth, when the last enslaved Black people in Texas received news of their emancipation.

Award-winning Washington Post journalist and Oklahoma native DeNeen Brown is at the heart of the film, reporting on the search for a mass grave in her native state. Digging into the events that led to one of the worst episodes of racial violence in America’s history, Brown reveals insights into racial conflict incidents that erupted in the early 20thcentury. Between 1917 and 1923, when Jim Crow laws were at their height and the Klu Klux Klan was resurging across the nation, scores of Black homes and businesses were razed, and hundreds of Black people were lynched and massacred with impunity.

Brown’s reporting highlights the revived call for justice for victims and survivors. Following a 2018 investigative report, Brown explores the current new anti-racism movement in the context of the Tulsa Massacre and the Red Summer. With access to family members of those killed, city officials, archeologists, and historians, the film reveals the decades-long effort by descendants and community members to find victims’ bodies and unearth truths that have been suppressed for nearly a century. RISE AGAIN: TULSA AND THE RED SUMMER also untangles the role the media played in covering events at the time in order to reveal the full extent of the nation’s buried past.

SHOWTIME® DOCUMENTARY FILMS ACQUIRES WORLDWIDE RIGHTS TO THE ONE AND ONLY DICK GREGORY FROM DIRECTOR ANDRE GAINES

Documentary Feature About Comedy Legend and Activist, Executive Produced by Kevin Hart and Lena Waithe,

Will Premiere on Sunday, July 4 at 9 PM ET/PT

LOS ANGELES – June 9, 2021 – SHOWTIME Documentary Films today announced that it has acquired worldwide rights to THE ONE AND ONLY DICK GREGORY, the directorial debut from producer Andre Gaines (The Lady and The Dale, Bill Nye: Science Guy). The documentary feature unpacks the career of Dick Gregory, the activist, pop-culture icon and thought leader who changed the lives of millions across the world through constant disruption and awareness. The film will have a World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, June 19 as part of the festival’s inaugural Juneteenth programming slate, ahead of the SHOWTIME premiere on Sunday, July 4 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The announcement was made by Vinnie Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Nonfiction Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.

To watch and share the first look clip, visit: https://youtu.be/QZjZ1VbhgvM.

“There is no more important time than now to revisit the life of Dick Gregory,” said Malhotra. “His fearless voice rose to the challenges of his time, calling upon Americans to question their beliefs, in an era where you risked your livelihood – maybe even your life – to speak out. Though a comedic genius of his generation, comedy turned out just to be the beginning of one of the most unique and impactful journeys of any person we’ve seen. Andre and team have done a remarkable job in showing just how Gregory walked the walk and talked the talk in a way we have rarely seen anyone else do.”

Gregory inspired a generation through on-the-ground activism, an untiring desire to help and his influential comedy. Featuring archival footage of his early career as a comedian, the film is bookended with Gregory’s own voice just before his death in 2017, reflecting on the impact of his life on the world as a self-described “agitator.” Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, Wanda Sykes, W. Kamau Bell and others discuss Gregory’s paradigm-shifting significance on the art of comedy and culture. The film features original music by Black Thought of the Grammy® award winning hip-hop band The Roots.

“Dick Gregory is as present to me now as he was when I first started filming him six years ago – a trivial length of time when compared to the nearly six decades that this one man so greatly influenced American history, comedy, activism, and nutrition,” said Gaines. “He emptied himself completely for the movement, and while the enormity of his sacrifices are rarely acknowledged, he gave every artist a master class for what it truly means to both entertain and educate. Knowing Dick Gregory was a transformative experience that not only influenced the making of this film, but me as a man. Vinnie and the team at SHOWTIME have been incredible partners to help bring this timely story to the world, and I cannot wait for Dick Gregory to finally get his due.”

Gaines founded and runs Cinemation Studios which is based in Los Angeles. His producing credits include the four-part documentary series, The Lady and the Dale, the remake of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn, Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, and the award-winning film Bill Nye: Science Guy.

THE ONE AND ONLY DICK GREGORY is a Cinemation Studios production, written and directed by Gaines, and produced by Gaines and Valerie Edwards. The film is executive produced by Kevin Hart and Bryan Smiley for Hartbeat Productions, Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani for Hillman Grad Productions, and Christian Gregory, Chad Troutwine and Matt Rachamkin.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc., owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME®, which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and Showtime.com, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®. For more information, go to www.SHO.com.

# # #

Hip-Hop Legend Kurtis Blow to Release ‘The Breaks’ Gold Record as a Limited Edition NFT

Kurtis Blow is proud to announce the minting of Hip-Hop’s first-ever certified Gold Record as an NFT.

A digital rendering of the original RIAA-certified Gold Record plaque for ‘The Breaks,’ Blow’s landmark 1980 song that defined the Hip Hop genre, will be released as a collection of 41 non-fungible tokens, bringing one of rap’s greatest and most enduring moments into the NFT space.

Always on the cutting edge of artistic innovation, Kurtis laid the groundwork for Hip-Hop to dominate pop culture; he was the first rapper signed to a major label, he filmed the first Hip-Hop commercial (with Sprite), and was the first artist to bring Rap to Europe (on tour with The Clash). The pioneer has now added blockchain-based art to his vast career that includes multiple top-10 hits on Billboard’s R&B chart, and close collaborations with Whitney Houston, Run DMC, Bob Dylan, and Russell Simmons. The party hit was instrumental in breaking rap into mainstream conversation; now that influential moment in music history will be forever preserved on the blockchain, a budding entertainment and business space itself.

“So many firsts are accredited to my career and legacy. ‘The Breaks’ becoming certified may have been the biggest moment.” – Kurtis Blow.

A ubiquitous song in music history, “The Breaks” was the first RIAA-Certified Gold rap song, and it is now the first classic Hip Hop NFT collection. These extremely limited NFTs were designed by Kurtis’ son, Michael Walker, a Stanford graduate and multimedia artist. The release is a collaboration with Godspeed Labs and Launch featuring a near-perfect rendering of the gold record plaque commemorating the 1980 single from Blow’s debut album. 41 numbered editions will be sold over a 41-hour auction from 9 AM PT on Friday, June 4 through 2 AM PT on Sunday, June 6, to represent the 41 years of Hip Hop innovation that followed the song’s release.

“My generation doesn’t always acknowledge authentic Hip-Hop history, and older generations aren’t into the NFT space. It’s an honor to be able to bridge the gap with my father.” – Michael Walker

The song explores many breaks – musical breaks, work breaks, losing breaks, and winning breaks, the latter two of which can be seen in a major way over the past year; 2020 was a tough break for most, yet it catalyzed a community-supported wave toward breaking the old paradigm of centralized power and finance that can be seen in the new, decentralized business world of blockchain, crypto, and NFTs. These new types of breaks, which give power and agency to the under-represented, are breaks to steward in 2021 and beyond.

Fans can own a piece of history in the Kurtis Blow pantheon by bidding on the NFT artwork. The auction will begin Friday, June 4th at 9 AM PT with 41 editions of the NFT dropping at a starting bid of 0.41 ETH on OpenSea.

About Launch
Launch is a livestreaming music membership service-producing unique consumer offerings including online concerts and music programming featuring emergent artists and veteran talent from around the world.

About Godspeed Labs
Godspeed Labs is a mixed reality design lab specializing in art installations, digital media, and music. Founded by Michael Walker, a Stanford graduate and the son of Kurtis Blow.

THE KINGS

A four-part series chronicling four of boxing’s greatest prizefighters—Roberto Durán, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard.

THE KINGS spotlights boxing’s evolution from the end of Muhammad Ali’s era to the era of the Four Kings, set against the seismic political and socio-economic shifts taking place in the United States. The Four Kings rose to fame as the presidency of Jimmy Carter and economic recession gave way to the boon of 1980s capitalism and excess harnessed by the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Through in-depth interviews and archival footage, the series also examines the very personal battles that each man waged on his unique journey to the center of the sports world.

“These four men defined an era in boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, SHOWTIME Sports. “Their individual stories, forever linked by the spectacular battles they waged, reflect a tumultuous period in American culture and history. THE KINGS takes the viewer beyond the glorious action of some of history’s most memorable prizefights to illuminate each man’s dramatic journey and the societal context that made them stars of sports and popular culture.”

Following a brief fallow period in the wake of Ali’s retirement, boxing was revitalized when Leonard became a world champion in 1979 and waged his first battle with Durán in 1980. From that point, the Four Kings engaged in a decade-long run of riveting fights that far outperformed any other sport in attention and revenue. They were the most popular stars of sports and American culture.

From 1979 through 1985, as a mark of their incredible achievements, the Boxing Writers Association of America bestowed these men the coveted title of “Fighter of the Year” annually with the lone exception of 1982 – with Leonard, Hagler and Hearns each winning twice. In the nine world title fights between them, there were four knockouts and three of the bouts were recognized by The Ring magazine as “Fight of the Year.” The Ring magazine “Round of the Year” (and to many, the round of all time) from round one of Hagler-Hearns is, perhaps, the most iconic single round of boxing of all time. Fittingly, THE KINGS premieres in the 45th anniversary year of Leonard winning an Olympic gold medal, and the 40th anniversary year of the welterweight world title unification battle between Leonard and Hearns, widely considered their greatest fight and a symbol of the era.

THE KINGS is produced by Box To Box Film in association with Ingenious Media. The series is executive produced by James Gay-Rees (Amy, Senna, Drive To Survive) and Paul Martin (Diego Maradona, Drive To Survive), produced by Fiona Neilson (Oasis: Supersonic, Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams) and directed by Mat Whitecross (Oasis: Supersonic, Road To Guantanamo, Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams).

The Underground Railroad

From Academy Award® winner Barry Jenkins and based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad chronicles Cora Randall’s (newcomer Thuso Mbedu) desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping a Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.

Over the course of her journey, Cora is pursued by Ridgeway (Joel Edgerton), a bounty hunter who is fixated on bringing her back to the plantation she escaped; especially since her mother Mabel is the only one he has never caught.

As she travels from state to state, Cora contends with the legacy of the mother that left her behind and her own struggles to realize a life she never thought was possible.

The Underground Railroad stars Thuso Mbedu, Chase W. Dillon and Joel Edgerton. Aaron Pierre, William Jackson Harper, Sheila Atim, Amber Gray, Peter De Jersey, Chukwudi Iwuji, Damon Herriman, Lily Rabe, Irone Singleton, Mychal-Bella Bowman, Marcus “MJ” Gladney, Jr., Will Poulter and Peter Mullan round out the cast.

Barry Jenkins serves as showrunner and directs all ten episodes of the limited series. He executive produces alongside Adele Romanski, Mark Ceryak, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Brad Pitt, Richard Heus, Jacqueline Hoyt and Colson Whitehead. The Underground Railroad is a production of Plan B, Pastel and Big Indie with Amazon Studios.

A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR

It is 8pm on March 11th, 2021, nearly a year to the day that I walked off the set of The Underground Railroad unsure (and yet undeniably sure) that the virus ravaging the world had come to ravage our production. Tonight, I am listening to Toni Morrison’s Nobel lecture because after 116 days of being relied upon to direct it is important to be directed, to give myself over to someone else’s doctrine.

The lecture, if you haven’t read or heard it, is a thesis, a grappling with everything framed through fable. In this fable, Ms. Morrison recites the story of a wise, blind woman visited by children. The children are holding a bird and have questioned the woman of whether the bird is living or dead. The children, in their cruel game, are here to test the blind woman, to smash away her clairvoyant esteem.

Ms. Morrison writes –

Finally she speaks and her voice is soft but stern. “I don’t know”, she says. “I don’t know whether the bird you are holding is dead or alive, but what I do know is that it is in your hands. It is in your hands.” Stepping outside the fable she has created, Ms. Morrison continues –

Speculation on what (other than its own frail body) that bird-in-the-hand might signify has always been attractive to me, but especially so now thinking, as I have been, about the work I do that has brought me to this company. So I choose to read the bird as language and the woman as a practiced writer. She is worried about how the language she dreams in, given to her at birth, is handled, put into service, even withheld from her for certain nefarious purposes.

As a student who believed this medium to be the vessel of their voice – to be language – I was forced to reckon with D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. In a time where information was beyond my control, I was sat down to watch this film and not told its true title (The Clansman), but instead made aware of the artistic significance of the work as a reasoning for the continued presentation (nearly a century forth) of its horrendous imagery. Of the significance of its language.

Two decades on, I remain a student but of my own volition. In the hundred years since its creation, The Birth of a Nation has seen the impact of its language rise and fall. As the vanguard of a new medium, its insistence on a radical new form has given it a speed upon which its demagoguery has metastasized and endured. In reflecting upon what we’ve done in transporting Colson Whitehead’s searing work from page to screen and the gambit set forth by Griffith’s magnum opus, I find myself returning to Ms. Morrison’s thesis: language. Whose language? What language? And to what purpose?

From the beginning, I’ve feared this show. Before my second feature, Moonlight, ever premiered and through the production and release of my third, If Beale Street Could Talk, it has been the thing haunting me; stalking me, waiting for me in the shadows of dim rooms, at the edges of conversations. For so long, the notion of imagery such as those contained within this show has elicited feelings of shame, of trauma. The trauma arising from depictions of the American institution of slavery are so great that the very thought of creating such images is enough to bring forth this shame. And this shame is enough to mute, to taint those images to the point that the ethical questions regarding the efficacy of their existence potentially disallows their existence. In my ragged and incomplete sampling of peers and family, we simply are not ready to deal with these images. In my samplings, it was made clear to me that I should not make The Underground Railroad.

But if not now, when? As a student in this country educated in the public institutions created by the nation to educate and form its citizens, the imagery I speak of, if presented at all, is abridged, amended, curtailed and coded to protect the legacy that leads to the siren call of “making America great again.” Throughout my schooling in this country, if the topic of slavery was broached at all it was done so pithily, shoddily and, heinously, solely from January 15th to February 28th.

I’ve asked myself, who does this serve? The people clinging to States rights and monuments to men who fought to preserve the enslavement of my ancestors? For decades, the fight to correct the American historical narrative and create a more truthful history has been waged within the halls of academia and in the pages of literary works and journalistic periodicals. Between 1936 and 1938, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) collected more than 2,300 interviews with formerly enslaved people. The memories of these octo and nonagenarians were crisp time-capsules of a history that had been purposely disregarded as they lived out the balance of their lives. Imagine having lived as an enslaved person and in your lifetime enduring half-a-century of a nation’s industrial proliferation without even cursory debate regarding the legitimacy of reparations for victims of enslavement… to say nothing of their descendants. In 2019, Nikole Hannah-Jones launched The 1619 Project on the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans’ arrival on our nation’s shores, a sweeping (and ongoing) endeavor that fills in redacted cavities of our historical record.

When I was a student, the WPA Slave Narrative Collection was not taught nor stocked in the libraries of my public school. If the state and local governments such as those in Arkansas, Iowa, and Mississippi (and counting) prevail, neither will The 1619 Project. The fact of both these withholdings from the students who will become the citizens shaping the future of this country weighs on me as I once again wrestle with the trauma and shame of creating images that speak to this dark history and whether that shame and trauma outstrip the efficacy of such images. To put it bluntly: Do we need to be reminded of the horrors of American slavery? Is it ethically or morally right to do so? And if so, why?

A possible answer was shown to me in a different form. In addition to The Birth of a Nation, the Film 101 syllabus included Schindler’s List, Night and Fog, and The Pawnbroker. The critical analysis of those films bridged out to The Diary of Anne Frank, Shoah, Come and See (and many others). There are differences here and I do not wish to compare or contrast the atrocities of the Holocaust with those of American slavery; the Holocaust occurred during a time in which the tools of reportage, documentation and archiving were plentiful and readily employed. However, it is not lost on me that roughly fifty years after the genocide that threatened the future of his ancestors Steven Spielberg made Schindler’s List… while roughly fifty years after the conclusion of the genocide perpetrated by his ancestors, D.W. Griffith gave us The Birth of a Nation. Discarding Griffith’s racist agitprop and finding communion with Mr. Spielberg’s noble effort makes one thing abundantly clear: the trauma is real but… the shame is not ours.

Which brings me back to the question: “If not now, when?” As a nation, we are watching far more than we are reading. Despite the abundance of thorough, engrossing and illuminating work composed on the subject of American slavery by academics and journalists alike, the subject of reparations for the descendants of enslaved people has never been given due process and the slogan “Make America Great Again” both catapulted a trickster into the White House and emboldened his acolytes to wave the flag of the Confederacy in the halls of Congress and erect a hangman’s noose on the steps of the nation’s capital. If not now, when? When will it be appropriate to unravel the myth of American exceptionalism perpetrated through the manipulation of history and language by wielding a more truthful presentation of history through clear and unflinching language?

Language can never “pin down” slavery, genocide, war. Nor should it yearn for the arrogance to be able to do so. Its force, its felicity is in its reach toward the ineffable. – Toni Morrison

The ineffable. There are hard images in this show, images that speak forthrightly to the injustices inflicted upon my ancestors in the great making of this country… and yet they could never truly sum the hardness of this most horrible condition, the American institution of slavery. And while I have done everything I can to present them forthrightly and without over-sensation, the fact of their existence is a hard thing to bear. It is for that reason that alongside those hard images I have also strove to pay respect to softer ones whose existence is no less emphatic. Whether that be a formerly enslaved woman marveling at her sublime reflection in a mirror… or an enslaved man sitting on a porch mending a toy for the children he did not conceive but whom he will raise as his sons; that same woman crying with joy at discovering her ability to love and be loved, to make love, images that are testament to the deep wells of fortitude that had to have been present in order for the descendants of those people to persevere and retain agency that they may one day use language to create testaments in their ancestors’ image.

I must end this now. When I was a child, a teacher spoke the words “Underground Railroad” and I saw images of Black folks building and working and thriving on vessels of their own creation far beneath the ground. In that moment, everything felt possible. Despite the shoddy conditions of my impoverished life at the time and what felt like a constant closing, the entire world opened to me. In that moment, I placed no limitations on my ancestors and the magic they were capable of making. To this day, it is the one of the most whole feelings I’ve experienced in my forty-one years of life. For me, this show is a return to that feeling with the eyes of an adult in place of the innocence of a child, a memory of conjuring soft images where hard ones were stricken from the record, hidden from view. This balancing act, the tension between hard and soft images, the need to tell the truth without being devoured by the barbarity of that truth, is without question the hardest undertaking I have ever attempted in my creative life.

On a location scout, I stood in a cotton field and a wave of anger and sadness took hold of me. In that moment, I debated whether to film the field or purchase the land and burn it to the ground. I saw the conundrum as a thing my ancestors who stood in that very field could never have imagined and then… I realized they must have imagined it. How else could they have endured?

They imagined it the same as I had when I heard the words “Underground Railroad” and imagined them, without question or hesitation, piloting themselves through will and grit and savvy and might. Here was that feeling again, all around me as I stood on blood-soaked Georgia soil listening to my ancestors. Something clear before solidified then – This show… is for them.

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