•, By Keenan “HIGz” Higgins, Posted November 25th 2022 When it comes to the legacy of The Notorious B.I.G., an iconic rapper that made a lasting impact on hip-hop before his senseless murder on March 9, 1997, there are very few deceased musicians that have seen posthumous idolization quite like the Brooklyn icon. Biopics, clothing collabs, sneakers, limited edition Budweiser cans and even NYC MetroCards are just some of the postmortem partnerships we’ve seen associated with the estate of Christopher Wallace so far. Not to be outdone, Meta is now the latest to get down with the business of Biggie by actually bringing him back in the metaverse for a VR concert experience in collaboration with his estate. It’s the latest part of a year-long celebration that his estate has dedicated to accomplishing in 2022 to celebrate Biggie’s would-be 50th birthday and honor the 25th anniversary of his death. However — dare we even say it? – is all the BIG love a bit, well, too much? Some fans of the late emcee are beginning to wonder… As the official preview states (seen above), “The Notorious B.I.G Sky’s the Limit: A VR Concert Experience” is set to provide a truly immersive opportunity to see Biggie’s world from a whole new perspective. Through Meta Horizon Worlds, fans will be able to journey through “The Brook,” a recreated version of the Brooklyn that B.I.G. grew up in during the ’80s and ’90s. It also will include “virtual” appearances by Latto, Nardo Wick, Eli Fross, BIG’s former protege Lil Cease, his Bad Boy colleagues The Lox, “Sky’s the Limit” producer DJ Clark Kent and, not surprisingly, his partner in rhyme Diddy. While it makes absolute sense to honor the legacy of an artist that is still missed by the masses, some have taken to social media to call out both Meta and his estate for continuing to market off his life after death. Some have compared it, both respectfully and despairingly, to the still-viral 2Pac Hologram performance at Coachella 2012. However, even that was perceived as a once-in-a-lifetime occasion that hasn’t been duplicated within the past decade. Creating a virtual space where Biggie lives, interacts and performs music for you is where things begin to feel a little eerie.  More info on how to watch the concert here.

Movie Weekly Countdown

  • Posted December 5th 2022  ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ is killing it in its continued reign of the #1 spot with total receipts of $393.7 million at the box office this weekend. The noir Xmas comedy ‘Violent Night’ lands in the #2 position with $13.3 million while Disney’s ‘Strange World’ slips to the #3 spot grossing $25.5 million at the box office this past weekend! BLACK PANTHER; WAKANDA FOREVER VIOLENT NIGHT STRANGE WORLD THE MENU DEVOTION VIDEOS ON DEMAND TOP GUN MAVERICK BULLET TRAIN TICKET TO PARADISE PARADISE CITY THE GRINCH (2018) MEDIEVAL ON THE LINE WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING NOPE AMSTERDAM

MXO Lifestyle

  • NOVELIST AND PHILANTHROPIST MACKENZIE SCOTT, By Justin Phillips, Posted December 5th 2022 Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has unexpectedly donated $20 million to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. It’s the largest donation in at least two decades to the district, and “might be its largest private donation ever,” reads a Tuesday news release. It “came as a surprise” to the district, which did not request the money from Scott’s foundation. That district plans to spend the money in five installments of $4 million on opportunities for students and educators — like student travel for college visits and teacher tuition and training — and one-time improvements like athletic equipment, musical instruments and science labs, according to the release. It will create a special fund administered by The Cleveland Foundation. The district reported revenue totaling about $1 billion for the 2021-22 school year, according to its budget. Board of Education members were asked to approve the gift during their regular Tuesday evening meeting. “We are very grateful for this incredible gift,” district CEO Eric Gordon is quoted in the release. “It will give our scholars exposure to travel and other experiences that will broaden their world view and make their education more meaningful. We also will be able to invest more deeply in professional development for staff and make improvements in facilities and equipment.” Scott’s donation to the school district is part of nearly $2 billion given to more than 300 other organizations in the last seven months, aimed at helping underserved communities, according to a blog post by Scott. CLEVELAND METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DISTRICT CEO ERIC GORDON ANNOUNCES THE GIFT FROM MACKENZIE SCOTT Scott announced in 2020 she had donated more than $4 billion over four months to charity. She said the coronavirus pandemic acted as a “wrecking ball” to Americans’ lives that also “substantially increased the wealth of billionaires,” including her former husband, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. As of this past spring, Scott had given nearly $13 billion to nonprofits across the country, according to a news release from the Center for Effective Philanthropy. “It’s appropriate that CMSD is announcing this amazingly generous gift the week of Thanksgiving,” Helen Williams, Cleveland Foundation program director for education, is quoted in the release. “The fact that the District was selected — and did not apply — for this transformative grant speaks volumes about the work Eric Gordon and his team have done putting students and staff first for more than a decade.”

The Arts Unplugged

  • Cleveland Play House, Posted December 2nd 2022 BLACK NATIVITY DECEMBER 9 THROUGH DECEMBER 18 ALLEN THEATRE Written By Langston Hughes Directed By Tony Silas Karamu House, the centerpiece of Cleveland’s historic Fairfax neighborhood and the oldest Black theatre in the country, presents the soul-stirring, gospel celebration Black Nativity in the Allen Theatre. Black Nativity is the joyous retelling of the traditional New Testament account of the Nativity story, using gospel music, dramatic dance, and a biblical narrative. Written and conceived by legendary playwright, poet, and Karamu alum Langston Hughes, this soulful, heartwarming story is a Karamu House classic! More information for Karamu Houses’s Black Nativity at Cleveland Play House in Playhouse Square here.

  •, By Pete Hammond, Posted November 25th 2022 A star-studded lineup is set for the Critics Choice Association’s fifth annual Celebration of Black Cinema and Television, taking place on Monday, December 5, at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles. Angela Bassett, Berry Gordy, Quinta Brunson, Danielle Deadwyler, Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors, and Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi are just a few of the names set to be honored at the event, which has grown into an awards season staple. Now in its fifth year, the celebration will recognize 15 categories as part of a special night honoring standout achievements in Black filmmaking and television. ANGELA BASSETT “The Celebration of Black Cinema & Television has grown tremendously over the last five years,” said CCA CEO Joey Berlin. “We’re thrilled to be able to recognize such outstanding projects across both film and television, and to honor these incredible actors and filmmakers for their work.” Songwriter, producer, director, entrepreneur and Motown Records founder Gordy will receive the Icon Award for his unparalleled contribution to music, film and popular culture, while Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Bassett will receive the Career Achievement Award for her extraordinary career and her recent role as Queen Ramonda in the Marvel Studios film. Actor, producer and director Jordan will receive the Melvin Van Peebles Trailblazer Award for his overall contribution to the industry and in celebration of his directorial debut with the United Artists Releasing film, Creed III. In addition to directing the film, he reprises his role as Adonis Creed, as well as produces under his Outlier Society production banner. Grammy-winning, multi-platinum recording artist and actor Kid Cudi will be honored with the Groundbreaker Award for his starring role as Jabari in the Netflix television event, Entergalactic, which he also created. Emmy-winning writer, producer and actress Brunson will be presented with the Actress Award for Television for her role as Janine Teagues on ABC’s hit series, Abbott Elementary, which she created and also executive produces. Deadwyler will be honored with the Actress Award for Film for her role as Mamie Till-Mobley in the Orion Pictures/United Artists Releasing film Til. BARRY GORDY Emmy- and Critics Choice Award-nominated Majors will be presented with the Actor Award for Film for his role as Jesse Brown in the Columbia Pictures/Black Label Media aerial war epic Devotion. The Director Award for Film will be awarded to director Gina Prince-Bythewood for her work on TriStar Pictures and Entertainment One’s acclaimed The Woman King. Brian Tyree Henry will be awarded with the Supporting Actor Award for his performance as James Aucoin in Apple Original Films/A24’s Causeway. Nicco Annan will receive the Actor Award for Television for his role as Uncle Clifford on the hit Starz series P-Valley. Writer and director Elegance Bratton will accept the Social Justice Award for his inspiring work on the A24 film, The Inspection. QUINTA BRUNSON Actress and comedian Ayo Edebiri will receive the Rising Star Award presented by IMDbPro for her role as Sydney Adamu on the FX series, The Bear. And Quincy Isaiah will also accept the Rising Star Award for his role as Magic Johnson on the HBO Original series, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. Writer-director Nikyatu Jusa will accept the Breakthrough Film Award for the Amazon Studios and Blumhouse film, Nanny, an award winner at Sundance this year. The Ensemble Award will be presented to the cast of ABC sitcom The Wonder Years. “It has truly been a year to celebrate,” said CCA Board Member Shawn Edwards, Executive Producer of the event. “The unprecedented amount of content about the Black experience on film and television made it very difficult to choose our honorees for this milestone year. And our special Icon Award honoree, Berry Gordy, pushed open a heavy door during the ’70s and ’80s through his Motown Productions with a string of movies and TV series that helped pave the way for future Black storytellers.” The Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Black Cinema & Television will be hosted by veteran comedian Bill Bellamy and televised on KTLA in January and shown nationwide on Nexstar stations throughout the month of February in honor of Black History Month. The show is produced by Madelyn Hammond and Javier Infante of Madelyn Hammond & Associates. Event sponsors include Delta Air Lines, Fairmont Century Plaza, GreenSlate, IMDbPro, McBride Sisters Wine Company; Milagro Tequila and NEP Sweetwater. Event partners are Four Seasons Resort Nevis and Sunkist Growers. The Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Black Cinema & Television will be televised on KTLA in January and shown nationwide on Nexstar stations throughout the month of February in honor of Black History Month. The Show is produced by Madelyn Hammond and Javier Infante of Madelyn Hammond & Associates.