A week after its release in theaters across America, director Ryan Coogler’s new Marvel comic-adaptation, Black Panther, is still setting box office records. The film is the 5th highest domestic debut of all time, and the highest grossing February release in history, with a staggering $202,003,951. It earned more in just 3-days in theaters than any other film featuring a black director and predominantly black cast with an impressive worldwide opening weekend gross of $350 million. The success of the film has not only shattered age-old myths surrounding the “unpopularity” of all-black ensemble movies in Hollywood. It is also changing the way Hollywood, and America at large, view films that deal primarily with black and African American culture. But why is Black Panther such a big deal for America and not simply just another superhero movie with a hero who happens to be black? Continue reading →
In 2001, shortly after the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th, two Chicago-based educators, Kevin Coval and Anna West, decided to create an outlet for young high school students to express themselves through spoken-word poetry. Nearly 20 years later, Louder Than A Bomb has grown from a small number of local high school teams to a full-scale competition made up of 120 teams from high schools all over Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. The success of the program has inspired educators to form spoken-word poetry competitions in 13 cities across the country, and even in Canada. Today, Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB) prides itself on being the largest youth poetry festival in the world. The success of the program, as well as the students and educators involved with organizing it every year, was the subject of a 2011 documentary, Louder Than A Bomb, by filmmakers Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel.
Jacobs and Siskel followed four individuals competing in the 2011 competition to paint a portrait of youth outlook on world events, social climate, politics, and their own personal stories. The film not only received praise at the Chicago International Film Festival, but also at film festivals all over the country, including Milwaukee, Cleveland, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Portland. Prelims for the upcoming 2018 festival are being held at Columbia College starting on February 21st-22nd. You can check eligibility rules and sign your team up on the Young Chicago Authors website. Louder Than A Bomb is available on Amazon Prime, and if you have an account I would definitely add it to your Watchlist.
The nominations for the 90th Annual Academy Awards were released last week and met with mixed reactions. Some were ecstatic, others were disappointed, but how many were surprised? The Academy has been attempting to present itself in a new light in the years since a slew of all-white nominees was presented in the Best Actor category at the 2015 ceremony. Despite the #OscarsSoWhite movement that followed, the same thing happened the next year, sending organizers into a furor that found them completely revamping the membership list in the hopes of getting more diversified nominations. Although the 89th ceremony saw some changes in terms of the voting body, it seemed more like a desperate attempt to show change rather than a legitimate attempt to actually change. Now, in the age of #MeToo, this year’s nominees also fell shy of expectations. Continue reading →
Tony the Scribe is a man of many mediums. From directing his “Just Breathe” installation spotlighting the environmental challenges inner city & minority communities often face, to maintaining himself as a fixture within the Twin Cities music scene, Tony has found himself busy as an activist and artist. The release party for his upcoming EP Mixed Messages promises to captivate the audience with a one time only performance installation directed by Tony, as well as performances from Sarah White, Andrew Broder, and DJ sets by Minnie Blanco. This show is 21+ and tickets are still available for $8 ($10 @ door), click the link below to purchase yours now.
Location: 2709 E Lake Street, Minneapolis When: Saturday, February 3rd // 4PM-10PM
Super Bowl weekend is right around the corner and there is no shortage of dope events to keep an eye on. Taylor Gang’s own Ty Dolla $ign will be live at El Nuevo Rodeo this Saturday, along with hometown favorite Finding Novyon. The event will also feature a fashion show as well as pop up shops for those looking to pick up some new gear. The main event is 18+, but ends at 10PM, while the after party will only be open to patrons over 21. General admission tickets are still available for $90, and you can purchase VIP passes for $190; click the link below to buy yours now.
Location: 10 5th St S, Minneapolis When: Thursday, February 8th // 6PM-10PM
After a stint in Colorado, Kihndyn Peters is back in Minnesota and plans to hit the ground running. The release show for his album Kihndyn & The Brain is right around the corner and the lineup is pretty solid. The show will feature performances from Kihndyn Peters, Student 1, Will Robinson, Lewiee Blaze, Demon Marcus, and special guests Exxe. This event is 18+ and tickets are currently available for only $7 in advance ($10 @ door), click the link below to cop yours now.
Location: 205 E Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis When: Tuesday, February 6th @ 9PM
Shrimpnose will resurrect his much loved “Best Damn Beat Battle” series next Tuesday at Honey in Northeast Minneapolis. As always, the event will feature a 16 person bracket of producers, 5 guest judges, and $250 in prize money to the victor. No word on who will be competing yet, but we’re sure that the lineup will be announced soon. If you’re interested in joining, the fee is $20 and those looking to simply check out the event will pay $5 at the door. Click the link below for more information and keep an eye out for updates as we get closer to the event.
Location: 1429 Washington Avenue S, Minneapolis When: Saturday, February 3rd @ 9PM
Super Bowl week is upon us and by now it’s apparent that most of the festivities will be closed off to the average Minnesotan. Have no fear, the homies from Gold Culture have us all covered with a pre-party at Bullwinkle’s in Minneapolis’ West Bank neighborhood. The event will feature DJ Low and Rowsheen on the 1s & 2s, as well as a plethora of special guests who will drop in throughout the night. This one is 21+ and the door is FREE from 9-10pm ($3 from 10pm-4am, click the link below for more info.
Location: 755 Prior Avenue N, St. Paul When: Saturday, January 27th @ 9PM
Can Can Wonderland has established itself as a legit place to check out local music of all varieties. This Saturday, they will host a hip hop showcase, aptly dubbed “Local Dope Sh*t.” The event features a healthy lineup of local mainstays and up & comers including Will Robinson, Kihndyn Peters, Axel Foley, and JaySoCreative to name a few. For those looking for a little more, there will also be a burlesque show on the main stage. This show is 21+ and the door is only $2, click the link below for more information.
Location: 175 W Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul When: Thursday, March 8th @ 6PM
Bay Area native G-Eazy has had an interesting journey through the hip hop ranks. Out of the gate he was widely considered a dime a dozen “white rapper”, but upon further inspection listeners began to make genuine connections with Eazy’s depth. After honing his style and grinding out his own lane, G-Eazy delivered one of 2017s better albums in The Beautiful & Damned. With a surging fan base and fast rising openers Trippie Redd, Phora, and Anthony Russo; his St. Paul stop may be the Twin Cities’ best hip hop show in the month of March. This show is all ages and tickets are currently available for $80, click the link below to buy yours now.