Sometimes “movements are bigger than single records,” says Jay-Z in Young Jeezy’s new biographical film, A Hustlerz Ambition; a comment that can easily summarize the Snowman’s rise to fame. Last night, in two theaters at New York City’s Landmark Sunshine Cinema, the documentary tied to the release of Jeezy’s fourth album, Thug Motivation 103: A Hustlerz Ambition, was unveiled and screened for the very first time by Def Jam and the man of the hour himself. Chronicling the drug-slinging trap rapper’s evolution, the film documents both sides of Jeezy’s (real name: Jay Jenkins) personal and professional lives, focusing on painful, comedic and triumphant moments while on his path to becoming a bonafide player in the rap game.
Making the audience privy to many intimate details of his life, the film delves into Jeezy’s childhood, how his uncle “Bo” first gave him forty dollars to flip at age 11, the divorce of his military father and substance abusing-mother (who he later saw buy and be high on crack), living with his grandmother in Hawkinsville, Georgia and utilizing her stove to dominate the streets, fighting for paternity rights to his son, and battling severe health problems like Bell’s Palsy and polyps on his vocal cords. While the glimpse into his personal history is informative and helps to understand his overall story, the film, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Chris Robinson, is mostly geared toward shedding light on Jeezy’s relentless drive to achieve everything he wants in life, plus much more. Read more…
When was the last time you actually purchased a movie soundtrack? In the last five years, only three motion picture soundtrack albums have wiggled their way into the Billboard Top Ten: Hannah Montana: The Movie (which peaked at #1 in 2009), Walk The Line (#3 in 2006) and Crazy Heart (#6 in 2010). It’s not that there haven’t been any good soundtracks during this period of time, it’s more that the ease of purchasing singles through outlets like Amazon and iTunes have eliminated the need for consumers to purchase 11 tracks of filler just to get the one song they really want to hear. Enter Drive.
The soundtrack, which features an awesomely-curated mix of electro bands like Desire and Kavinsky (featuring Lovefoxx) as well as an original score by former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Cliff Martinez, recalls the synth-heavy scores of eighties classics like Jan Hammer‘s score for Miami Vice, Wang Chung‘s for To Live And Die In L.A. and Tangerine Dream‘s for Thief. The standout single on the soundtrack, which serves as the film’s de facto “love theme,” is this collaboration between French electro outfit College and Canadian chillwavers Electric Youth, “A Real Hero.”
While it will still be another 18 months or so until Twilight-mania finally subsides, the next big franchise poised to gobble up the disposable income of America’s rabid teenage girl fanbase will almost certainly be The Hunger Games¹. There is currently a film adaptation in the works, and it is scheduled to hit theaters next March. Earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter landed the scoop that there will be not one but TWO soundtrack albums produced for the Lionsgate film. One will feature the instrumental score co-composed by Grammy-winning soundtrack maestros T. Bone Burnett and Danny Elfman, while the other will feature “collections of the songs featured in the film and songs directly influenced by the themes — freedom, rebellion, survival, family — and subject matter of the film.” No specific artists have been announced yet, but we’re not going to let a silly thing like that stop us from speculating about the contents of said soundtrack. Here is the The Hunger Games soundtrack tracklisting … of our dreams.
Over the long Memorial Day weekend, we’re guessing that most of you probably took advantage of the good weather and went outside to barbecue with friends and family. However, those of you who are either heliophobic or addicted to air conditioning likely took to the Internet instead, where one of the weekend’s biggest stories revolved around the supposed “leak” of the redband trailer for the upcoming film, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The highly-anticipated adaptation of the best-selling book by the late Stieg Larsson not only stars Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, but is also directed by the maestro of gloomy psychological thrillers, David Fincher.
The trailer is somewhat unique in that it doesn’t contain a single line of dialogue, but that doesn’t mean that the tone of the film isn’t readily apparent. Keeping in line with the graphic content of the novels, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo looks to be Fincher’s most ominous and scary film since Se7en, thanks in large part to the decision to score the trailer with Trent Reznor and Karen O‘s hauntingly driven cover of Led Zeppelin‘s “Immigrant Song.” There’s a certain mystical feel to the Led Zep original, but Rezner and O’s swaps that essence for something, well, colder; it’s got a sonic aura that’s as icy as the Scandinavian landscapes contained within the film and, frankly, gave us nightmares when we went to sleep last night.
Even though this trailer only contains a small portion of the song, this new take on “Immigrant Song” already ranks among our all-time favorite Led Zeppelin cover songs. Do you feel the same way? What Led Zep cover songs are your favorites? Hit us up in the comments below!
MTV’s documentary Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside, which premieres Thursday, May 26th at 9pm ET, promises an exploration of how Stefani Germanotta found her way to becoming the Lady Gaga we all know so well. That’s a bit of an overstatement?the documentary is primarily based on a conversation conducted with a horned and felt-birthmarked Gaga in a single spotlight on a stage?but even in this mediated form it’s fairly revealing. A portion of the interview retreads ground covered before, as in Vanessa Grigoriadis‘s March 2010 profile of Gaga for New York, but Gaga does meet the filmmakers somewhere near halfway, plus filling in the blanks of the Gaga narrative, for example explaining that her fascination with wigs and with the permeability of her hair stemmed from her inability to get lead roles in musical theater (specifically, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls) as a brunette.
What comes across most strongly in the documentary is Gaga’s relationship with her father, a strict but supportive man who bequeathed his love of music (in particular, Bruce Springsteen) to his daughter. Gaga frames much of her early years in context of finding her own way outside of her father’s influence (but not too far): she remarks, “I needed to f**k myself up and go to ground for a couple of years” but admits that her father paid half of her rent for three of the twelve months she spent finding herself in a studio on the Lower East Side (a largely solitary experience that may have unconsciously inspired her fascination with incubation).
Another revealing aspect is the way Gaga describes herself and her fans, and their relationship. “I’m a perpetual underdog,” she says, which seems an odd thing to say when one is the most media-saturated pop star on the planet right now. Yet when she speaks of insecurity and being bullied in high school, she almost subconsciously connects this with the struggles she believes her fans might now experience, which draw them to her music. Her 2007 obsession with Rhonda Byrne‘s The Secret (per the New York piece) has evolved into a nonreligious evangelism, in which Gaga has achieved her dreams and she believes her monsters can and will do the same. Certainly this explains why Gaga can be so simultaneously annoying and compelling.
The filmmakers are currently finishing post-production?the rough cut shown today is missing an entire exploration of Gaga’s interaction with, and experience of, New York City?but even in this state it was indeed compelling. Tune into MTV on Thursday night at 9 p.m. to see the complete documentary.
On Monday night, May 23 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, VH1 will be proud to present the television premiere of a brand new documentary film, 50 Cent: The Origin of Me. In the film, 50 Cent and a team of filmmakers take a trek from his hometown of New York City all the way down to the rural, small town of Edgefield, South Carolina, to explore 50′s ancestral heritage. In a story published on VanityFair.com, writer David Kamp posed a question to 50 that, at its heart, is integral in helping all of us understand the culture of violence that permeates our society: “Could it be possible that Edgefield?s violent code of honor had hopped cultural and geographical boundaries?first from masters to slaves, and then from southern freedmen to northern gangstas?”
This question, it seems, infuriated 50 so much that he asked for the cameras to be turned off, but not before replying, “I don?t necessarily see a connection between stuff that happened 200 years ago in Edgefield and stuff that happened to me on the south side of Jamaica, Queens. Some people just choose to be bad.”
The buzz around Anvil! The Story of Anvil gets louder by the week – seems hardcore metal heads and lots of other rockers have fallen for the story of the Canadian band who just wouldn’t say die. The film hits theaters on April 10th, and VH1 News caught up with the guys as they their did their thing down at the South by Southwest festival a couple of weeks ago.? Check the above clip for an interview.
Sorry, regular peeps. There is absolutely no chance you’ll be considered for the role of god-father to the new golden gods, Knox and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. Super famous kids need super famous godparents, and Bono‘s getting the job, soley for the reason that it’s pretty f*cking cool to get money on your birthday every year from the dude who sings “With Or Without You.” Also, Brad and Angie are star f*ckers. Need examples?
1. A source says: “They have been friends for years. Brad is a massive U2 fan and told Bono how much he admired him when they were introduced at a party a few years back.”
2. The same source reveals: “Angelina is inspired by Bono’s humanitarian work and gets on with his wife Ali Hewson. Ali’s given Angelina some clothes from her ethical clothing range Edun.”