Actor/Comedian Tony Rock Talks New Series “The Big Leaf,” Drake/Meek Mill, N.W.A Film & More In Hilarious Interview

Currently on a press run for his starring role in the new television series “The Big Leaf,” actor/comedian Tony Rock stopped by The Source office and shed some light on the program but also spoke on a multitude of other topics including the “Straight Outta Compton” film, Meek Mill/Drake feud, his older brother Chris Rock, his favorite recent album, which new MC he favors and much more. Rock spoke with a humorous candor on all topics, which made for very entertaining sit down. Mail was delivered to the office in the middle of his interview and he spun into off the cuff comedy as only he could. Check it out below, and be on the lookout for “The Big Leaf,” which is set to air on TVOne Tuesday September 15th at 11pm EST.

Video by Decade Pictures

I really got a kick out of his take on Meek Mill/DrakeRocko Rathon (@Rocko_CNK)

Shanice Williams Talks Being Cast as Dorothy in NBC’s ‘The Wiz’

NBC’s television reboot of “The Wiz Live” has found itself a new star and she’s a breath of fresh air.

Continue reading Shanice Williams Talks Being Cast as Dorothy in NBC’s ‘The Wiz’

Action Bronson Implies He Raps Better Than Ghostface Killah

[Ghostface] isn’t rapping like this no more.”

Who knows what made Action Bronson make a statement that sounded anything remotely like he was better than Wu swordsman Ghostface Killah, but on his appearance on ESPN‘s Sports Nation, the most visible member of the Queens based Outdoorsmen crew said something really slick with Ghost’s name attached to it. See the video above and judge for yourself.

-Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStatus)

A Dialogue With Artist Rong English

Traveling to Ron English’s home and studio in Beacon, NY is a lot like going to see the Michael Jackson of Art in his natural element.
Ron English’s art, though colorful, and full of life, like the King of Pop himself, does not detail his everyday life. The same way Jackson was privileged to carry fans of a depleting Motown generation, English experienced the tail end of the Warhol era, which helped him gain the momentum necessary to become a world-renown figure. Unlike Jackson’s fans, however, Ron’s have accepted the transcendence of his work later in life, from political commentary to pop-surrealism. From the well-to-do aristocrat to the cultured hipster, and from Bangkok to New York City, Ron has left his mark on the hearts and minds of the masses.
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English’s home is an oasis of art – a hub for all the great and quirky art pieces we associate with his career. Rainbow colored deer peek from behind weeds on his lawn, while eye catching, brightly colored sun chairs lay out on the deck. A Teletubby or two surround the living room and plenty of Marilyn Monroe’s with Mickey Mouse headed titties sit atop tall glass cases overlooking his sanctuary.

 

And when it comes to art, English has done it all. He’s travelled the world, worked on vinyl toys with guitar legend Slash — partnered with Chris Brown on the infamous Fame album cover, and is currently taking his turn on the legendary Houston Bowery Wall, where the Greats like Keith Haring have painted before him, with his “Temper Tot” mural capturing the attention of all who pass.

 

His books such as Status Factory show his collection of works commenting on the establishment, poking fun at religion, consumerism, and blind obedience to popular culture. Among his work one will see reinterpretations of familiar characters like Ronald McDonald, otherwise known as MC Super Sized (as seen on the cover of Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me documentary) Mickey Mouse, three-eyed rabbits, the Flintstones amid prehistoric Cold Wars, grinning skulls, and much more.

 

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From humble Texas beginnings, English has gone on to experience differences in culture throughout the world and as a result, has become enlightened on the issues seen within media outlets — the inconsistencies and one sidedness that most news sources partake in. In speaking to Ron, it was clear that art may be the only true middle ground – with dialog free from censorship.

 

After failing art history three times, English began recreating the Masters’works in order channel their insights, eventually putting his own twists on the works of Pablo Picasso and Leonardo Davinci. This became his process. “Picasso danced when he felt a groove,” English mimicked the movements of a child as he channeled the essence of the artist. And with a childlike sparkle in his eye, it was clear that in due time, if not already, artists would soon look to Ron English to find their own process

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Our conversation at his home and studio was less of an interview, and more of two artists discussing the ins and outs of the industry. From politics to the power of the artist to some of the industry’s giants like Andy Warhol.  “He was a fan boy,” said English. “Warhol was an obsessed student of celebrities who eventually went on to rule the very world he obsessed over as a boy. He was an image and a master at monetizing his gifts.”
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What was it like working with Chris Brown?

 

Chris Brown was the first real famous young person I ever hung out with. Iknow older people at that level, like Slash but I’ve never seen people treat him weirdly. He was at my opening and people were like “Hey Slash, what’s up?” but they really didn’t lose it or anything. I guess his fans are older, more reserved you know? With Chris, it was like block after block after block of kids had lined up to get their toys signed– mostly girls. About thirty fans at a time were brought into Toy Tokyo where we were signing, so when they were let into the room where Chris and I were, they got their first glimpse of Chris. As they got closer in line they seemed to be getting more nervous. By the time their turn came up they were hyperventilating, and when they got to Chris they passed out, like one after another. I mean they didn’t even meet Chris, they just fainted and Chris’ crew caught them and took them outside.  It must be really weird for people to react to you that way.

 

Do you follow politics?

 

Yeah – do you mean like for entertainment,  like Donald Trump running?

 

Do you think the people will vote for Trump?

 

I think the thing with him is that people know he inherited his wealth. He’s just a privileged guy who made a second fortune. Being able to game the system doesn’t make you a great leader. Different skill set. I think the appeal with Obama was that he wasn’t from upper class and that he made his way up for a large part on his own volition. He was into the idea of community, he knew what people were really up against.  There are problems that the elites are just not conscious of. Because they’re not exposed to it. Its just something on paper. There is no emotion or connectedness to that problem.The population is just something to exploit.

 

When you were making those billboards, did you feel they were important? Did you feel that it was your political voice?

 

Not at first. At first  I just wanted to do it. I thought if everyone dissipated from the planet, I would still paint billboards. I just loved painting big, it was like freedom. Later when I went to graduate school, my roommates were all political activists. They knew I was taking over all these billboards with my art which they thought was pretty cool, but they also thought there should be some higher purpose. Some of them were in Earth First so I added their agenda to my billboards. It was a powerful thing. I didn’t feel like a criminal anymore. I felt like the opposite of a criminal.

 

I think what you did was extremely important for opening people’s eyes to advertising and how it influences their lives, interests, and concerns. What purpose does art serve to you?

 

Art is very cathartic. But the part that people don’t play around with is what do you do with the art? And where do you put the art , how does the art get used? I suppose you either go into advertising or you make art for galleries. Product. But you know art can be a lot more than that. When I was in college I would stay up all night painting with these three artists. They were as obsessed with art as much as me. So I put one of the artists in a show, and the paintings, they’re these primitive paintings of these horrifying scenes, these women being split up the side and these weird babies coming out of them. People were mortified. They wanted this misogynistic asshole tossed out of the show. I explained that the artist was actually a woman who was a nurse who dealt with births gone terribly wrong, you know, like the baby is born without a ribcage. These paintings were probably her therapy. Then people liked them. They thought they were important, and they were because they were cathartic for her and for others. Art also works pretty well for selling products.

 

People buy the artist and not the art.

 

If I showed you a painting you might think it’s pretty cool. You’d probably think that same painting was a great if  I told you Picasso painted it. If you buy stock in a company the actual certificate probably looks about the same as a stock share from another company. But the value isn’t measured by the esthetic appeal of that piece of paper, it’s connected to the importance of the larger organization. A work of art may have a certain visual appeal independent of the historic importance of the artist but the monetary value is more associated with the stature of the artist. Collectors really are buying stock in the artist, the certificate just happens to look better on the wall.

 

What can people take away from the work of Ron English?

 

I think artists have a lot of power. And I don’t think they realize how much power they have. If you look at a lot of other countries, like in Iran, that one artist Farghadani, she received a twelve year sentence for making fun of the Parliament in Iran. Why would they punish her so harshly unless there was  power in her work? I’m not saying that artists are obligated to be political,but if they should choose to use their talents in that way, well, more power to them.

 

What made you choose Billboard locations?

 

When I was putting art on billboards, you know, when I was using billboards to showcase my art — I went to poor neighborhoods — where I thought art wasn’t a part of their life. Like my neighborhood where there was barely any art, I would go to those kind of places — but then when my art got more political — I went to the most visible billboards.

 

What do you believe were the contributions of having your art in those areas that did not have them before?

 

Art makes you smarter.

 

How so?

 

It just does.

 

Even when they first came out with computers, they were trying to find people who were capable of working with the new technology, and because it was such a new thing, people could not yet intuitively figure it out, because they had a regimented way of approaching everything; But when they tried recruiting artists they discover the artists adapted very well.  They are more intuitive.

 

The first test I ever got in art school was this puzzle: ok, you’re in this room — with all concrete and no doors or windows — and there’s a lead pipesticking up 20 inches out of the concrete in the middle of the room. A ping pong ball that just barely fits into the pipe has been put into the pipe and has slid down to the bottom. Your task is to remove that ping pong ball. You are given four items to assist you: a box of corn flakes, a hammer, a box knife and a magnifying glass. How do you remove the ball? All the art students are coming up with scenarios, you know, maybe you cut the box holding the cereal, flatten it, then curl it and jam it into the pipe? No matter what they come up with the teacher says no, won’t work. Then he looks at me, “you’re not saying anything Ron, how would you solve the problem?” I said, “I would use the box knife to slit my wrists and let my blood fill the pipe. The ball would float out.” Then everyone got quiet and stared at me. I was wishing I’d never opened my mouth. Then the teacher said, “wow, that would work. The answer was that you urinate into the pipe, but that would work too.” The point of the test was that the only way to solve the problem was by doing something a person would be uncomfortable proposing to a group, or an idea you would be too self-conscious to have in the first place. So if you’re going to be an artist, you can’t  have restrictions on your thought process. You’re going to have to be a free thinker.

 

As such a free thinker, how do you think the artists will use the internet for their own creations in asking why?

 

Well, I think if we don’t pay attention — and fight for the internet — the internet won’t be anything more than a corporate tool. But I think if we fight for the internet, it will be the greatest form of democracy the world has ever known. Its a leveler. It gives everybody a fair chance. And when something is that powerful, people tend to want to own it, and chop it up. And when something is that powerful, people, and their companies, tend to want to own it all….

 

The way things tend to work, like with giving permits for billboards, you know, originally the deal with the billboard companies was that 15 percent of them needed to be public service announcements. If we are going to let you put these eyesores up, then you need to give something back. So at first the billboard companies complied, you know, 15 percent of billboards were PSAs. Then they start putting the PSAs in obscure places, low traffic areas. Later they pretty much dropped the idea. Nobody remembers. Like the public airways, companies think they own them. They don’t. They’re a public trust. I mean you can’t just have one self-serving corporation dominating our collective forum.

 

You think that’s happening right now?

 

Yes, the rules against media consolidation were relaxed in the 1990’s, the telecommunications act, and more so in the passing years. So a media company is probably going to share a political agenda with their partners in government, the republicans, who got the laws fixed for them. So if you want to rent a billboard to express some more liberal idea, well, they aren’t going for that. I mean it’s not censorship because it’s not the government, it’s a private company that happens to own all the billboards. So I constantly try to do things the right way, but if I get a no, “no that is not going on one of our billboards for any amount of money” well then, good, I’ll give it to you for free. I’m just going to do it. They know that but they don’t come after me. I mean I’m not Banksy you know, I’m in the phone book. It’s not in their interest. Do they really need to put a spotlight on the fact that they control the content on their media outlets in service of a narrow political agenda?

 

What outlets do you go to get your information?

 

Fox News when I want to get up to speed on the current ”fauxlosopy”. Outside of that books are great. Long form articles, real people, real places, real life.

 

Hurtjohn

 

Her Source | Here’s How A 22-Year-Old Made Her Blog Site Go Viral – Full Interview With Miss T.N. King Here!

Dreams really do come true. Cliché isn’t it?

Chicago native, Taara King, turned her dreams into reality on her 22nd birthday. Her alias, Miss TN King, is well known after, what she thought was a little ol’ blog, turned into a nationwide movement. King launched her blog site only in December, sharing some of her most personal experiences with men, daily life struggles, and stories about her coming to age journey. Her posts have accumulated over 3 million views without any strategic promotion on her end, and girls around the country are raving about her down to earth insight and empowering truth. Her Source caught up with Miss T.N. King for an interview to hear how she feels about the reception and success MissTNKing.com has brought to her life:

1.For those who aren’t familiar, who is Miss T.N. King? What do you do, what’s the site about, and what do you believe your “purpose” is?

Miss TN King, she’s a go getter, she’s a queen, she’s confident, she’s passionate and has a lot of purpose. I’m from Chicago, 22 years old went to school in Louisiana, LSU, and I started my blog not too long after graduating college. I’ve made my mistakes in life but what I’m learning is that everything I go through, I go through it for a reason, whether set backs or trials, somehow that’s going to push me closer to my destiny. I’m at a point in my life where I refuse to stop, I’m going to keep going after my dreams, if I get “No” I don’t hear “No” I hear “Something better is coming along”. That is who Miss TN King is, and my purpose is to share confidence and a message.

2.Where did the idea to create your Sincerely King Blog come from, and how long after launching did notice a substantial growth in viewers?

I’ve always said to myself that I wanted to have a platform where I can inspire women, but it was also a milestone of personal growth for me. That’s because I’m so private and I keep a lot of personal experiences to myself, and I remember one of my best friends said to me “hey you should share some of your stories it can help people” but I was the type of person that didn’t like people in my business. So I was very hesitant in starting my blog because I knew I wanted to open about some things, and I was afraid of how people would perceive me, or how they would feel about some of the things I kept so dear to my heart. I started this blog really with the hopes of empowering women. I feel as if so many of us have the same stories, you know you can sometimes just talk to somebody and realized that we’re the same! And it’s sad because a lot of women, we’re always beefing or getting into it, but if we can all just come together and have a platform for which we can share our experiences, and realize we can really uplift each other it will be great.

I launched my blog on December 16th on my birthday this past year. The first post was “Chapter 22” which hit about 47 views. Two weeks later, “The New Side Chick: I Was Her” was published and it hit 1.5 million views in one day! I originally sent the blog post to only my sorority sisters and a few of my friends, posted a little something on IG and it went viral.

3.Are you accessible for people to send you emails, do people ask you for advice?

Well yes, when it first when viral my email blew up! Hundreds and hundreds of people asking me for advice. Honestly I was overwhelmed, but I was so flattered because I’ve always been that friend to talk to and give advice. So at the time it was like, God I’ve been praying for this and BOOM it was right it in my face. I will admit though, that all of the hundreds of emails I couldn’t respond to all of them but now I’m at a point where I have a little more control over it and so if someone contacts me, wants insight, or life coaching I can help. I will let them know I am not a professional but I do try to give them some type of wisdom when they come to me.

4.You talk a lot about females being aware of their Queendom, what do you believe are the steps to creating and obtaining the “throne”?

I believe that everyone has an inner queen. When I say that Queen, I mean that woman that’s fierce, confident, she’s beautiful, when she walks into a room, she owns it. Anything she touches, it’s going to turn into good because she has favor of the lord in her life. Your Queendom, that’s your purpose, that’s your accomplishments and successes, that’s your legacy. This is what you’re here on earth for, to have your Queendom and to impact lives by making a difference. And I feel like women we have to just tap into it because I wish we knew our full potential. Women make the world go around, and no one would be here if it weren’t for women! Even with men we have so much power over them and we don’t utilize it effectively, the power is within our standards, they way we carry ourselves, and what we’re going to put up with. So the Queen, she embraces all of that and takes control over her life. I’m all about pushing this message to women about how powerful we are and we can do anything regardless of what society says.

5.Your most recent post “3 Reasons Every Woman Should Go On A Man Fast” is very interesting and inspirational for young women. During your break from men, you mention the importance of dedicating more time to God. How long do you feel like this fast should last in order to be effective?

I knew I was going to be off of it, once I knew who I was and I had a set of goals and dreams for what God has called me to do. That’s when your fast is over, when you know who you are! Then when God, even when then devil throws more men in your face, you have the will power to not be easily influenced. When you have the confidence and independence, you won’t be going on the petty dates anymore, you’ll be talking to people of substance and quality, so if they can’t bring anything to the table then there’s no where for them to sit! Once you have those questions you went into the fast with, answered, that’s when you can end your fast and start dating again.

6.Since you’ve received such great feedback and you see the effect your material has on so many people, what’s the next step for Miss T.N King?

I plan on making my posts more frequent, adding videos to make my blog more visual, and I do want to launch my “Ask King” section. So you know if anyone wants to talk to me or ask me anything I can respond to them because I am all about inspiring and uplifting others. I am also a contestant for the Miss Illinois USA 2016 pageant, just going after my dreams fearlessly. I’m fundraising for that so, I am working on a lot so there’s a lot I’m excited about! To keep up with my posts you can visit my site MissTNKing.com and I’ll keep the site updated with events and any announcements.

Support and donate to her run for Miss Illinois USA HERE
Click HERE to visit Miss T.N. King’s site to read her articles.
Follow Her – @MissTNKING

-Tia Long (@ByTiaLong)

A$AP Rocky Talks Mobbing With TDE For A WuTang Effect In The Future, “A.L.L.A “, And More!

After a two-year hiatus from Long.Live.A$AP., A$AP Rocky released his sophomore Album At.Long.Last.A$AP. last week. In promotion of that project he stopped by Shade 45 to chop it up with DJ Whoo Kid on The Whoolywood Shuffle. His last album was to prove is existence in mainstream, but Rocky explains his approach with A.L.L.A was strictly artistic and an expression of genuine emotion. Rocky commends Drake for being the only other artis that evokes emotion. During the interview he discusses the Rod Stewart collaboration on the “Everyday” record.

Mark Ronson was the genius behind that record,”

Rocky credited.

“There were a ton of edits on that song, I can’t even fully remember the feeling I had when the last edit was made.”

In the future A$AP Rocky hopes that the Mob can join forces with TDE, sort of giving Hip-Hop a renewed feel of The Wu-Tang Clan. The collaboration amongst the two teams would surely make for an overdue impact on Hip Hop and Rocky’s exact words are, “Why Not?”

The rapper goes on to discuss what happened when he lost Swizz Beatz’ ring, PacSun removing his merchandise from the shelves, having Mos Def change his name back from Yasiin Bey, and being challenged to a smoke-off by the herbal gawd himself, Wiz Khalifa.

Watch the full interview above!

-Tia Long (@ByTiaLong)

It’s A Harlem Thing: Meet New York’s Best-Kept Secret Dave East

The Source caught up with Dave East to talk about everything from his new project dropping at the top of the summer to who everybody should be listening to out of NYC Continue reading It’s A Harlem Thing: Meet New York’s Best-Kept Secret Dave East

‘Blackish’ Star Tracee Ellis Ross on the Latest Cover of Hollywood Reporter Magazine

Tracee Ellis Ross returned to network television on the hit ABC sitcom Blackish, and is one of six actresses being featured in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter gathered the A-list actresses for a very honest roundtable conversation on a couple of interesting topics, including sex scenes, racism, colorism and more. Continue reading ‘Blackish’ Star Tracee Ellis Ross on the Latest Cover of Hollywood Reporter Magazine

Jim Jones Says French Montana Backed Away From a Fight with him in Miami

Jim Jones headed over to Highly Questionable to talk with Dan LeBatard and Bomani Jones about a myriad of topics, including some of the craziest fights he’s ever been in, which led to him telling a pretty interesting story about the time he got into a fist fight with members of Minister Louis Farrakhan‘s security detail.

LeBatard brought up another interesting fight story, which involved Jim Jones getting into an altercation with another rapper in Miami: French Montana. Jones didn’t go into too much detail regarding exactly what happened, but he joked that French is a “lover, not a fighter,” and that he “didn’t want that sauce,” which is presumably his way of saying French wasn’t as ready to fight as he was.

Jones also didn’t indicate exactly when the incident took place, but he put it in the public sphere at an awkward time. French Montana is currently dealing with the loss of his friend and colleague, Chinx, who was gunned down early Sunday morning.

Hood Health 101: Interview With Publisher And Founder Of The “Hood Health Handbook” Dr. Supreme Understanding

Check out the exclusive TheSource.com interview with Dr. Supreme Understanding, Supreme Design Publisher CEO and author of the Hood Health Handbook series. Learn about the inspiration behind TheSource.com’s Hood Health 101 from the author himself.

As the longest running digital column on TheSource.com, Hood Health 101 has an objective to provide readers and viewers with the most practical and affordable means of maintaining optimum health even under the most dire circumstances that we face everyday in the hood. We felt it was imperative to introduce the world to the founders of the Hood Health movement to give those who haven’t read the books the opportunity to gain the Knowledge necessary to eliminate the “shortest lifespan in the country” label placed on Black and Brown people. Look for Hood Health Handbook contributors as special guest contributors in future Hood Health 101 posts.

-Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStstus)

hood health handbook