Josh Brolin doesn’t want to play ‘grumpy old dudes’

Veteran star, Josh Brolin has revealed he has no ambition to play the ‘grumpy old dude’ in his movies.
The 50-year-old actor has insisted that in spite of celebrating his landmark birthday earlier this year, he has zero interest in accepting more placid on-screen roles.He told New York Times newspaper: ‘I’m 50. So what’s the thing, to start playing guys that are the next-door neighbour who’s the grumpy old dude who’s married in the rom-com, and then Jennifer Aniston goes and [expletive] the other guy who’s cooler and he’s an [expletive]? Like, no. I’ve been offered a lot of those parts, and I’m like, no, man. Don’t want to do that. It’s not interesting to me.’

In recent years, talk of gender pay inequality has become a big issue for the movie business.

But the Hollywood veteran – who recently starred in Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 – has admitted he’s never personally witnessed any pay inequality on the films he has worked on.

‘The women are the ones that shape everything. I’m not saying in general. I’m saying for me. So I would look at those women, and there was just a lifted respect for those women.’

‘Anyway, the whole point is that I’ve never been privy to women that haven’t gotten theirs, or women who weren’t listened to, or women who weren’t respected. I’ve only known the opposite. Do you know what I mean?’

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Jay-Z named Head of Puma’s relaunched Basketball Division

The brand is relaunching its program by signing a couple top NBA prospects—and one iconic rapper.

In the modern era, the story of basketball shoes is largely the story of two companies: Nike and Adidas. The Swoosh has owned the sport ever since it started making shoes for a guy named Michael Jordan in 1984. But a decade before that, Puma became the first brand to pay a player to wear a signature shoe when it signed legendary New York Knick Walt “Clyde” Frazier to a deal in 1973. Even with the head start, though, Puma couldn’t find a way to make basketball a profitable part of its business, and it hasn’t endorsed a player since it signed Vince Carter in 1998. Now, the brand’s tagged Jay-Z to head up its relaunched basketball program, according to Complex.

And Hov isn’t alone in joining Puma’s newly created roster. In a flurry of activity, the brand also inked deals with DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, and Zhaire Smith—all prospects expected to be first-round picks in this week’s NBA draft. Puma also signed Fraizer to a “lifetime” deal, similar (at least in the name) to the arrangement Nike gives to its highest-profile stars, like LeBron James. Ayton, in particular, is a huge coup for Puma—he’s the player strongly rumored to go number one overall in this year’s draft.

But no matter where Ayton goes, the biggest signing for Puma is undeniably Jay-Z. The rapper, who’s been linked to the German-based brand since last August, gives Puma immediate credibility—a cool factor it would have taken years to build with only NBA rookies and one Knicks announcer in the fold.

The relaunch of basketball comes at an interesting time for Puma, too. Basketball shoe sales are declining as customers gravitate towards lifestyle shoes and the funkiest of designer sneakers. Adidas is putting way more stock into its celebrity partnerships with the likes of Kanye and Pharrell, while Nike is beefing up its partnerships with fashion designers like Kim Jones, Riccardo Tisci, and Virgil Abloh. Puma’s new relationship with Jay-Z feels like an acknowledgment that success as a sportswear brand just can’t be about basketball. It has to encompass all the lifestyle elements that come with the sport, too. “We’re looking at basketball through the lens of culture, and thinking about the fashion of basketball, the music of basketball, all the aspects of culture around basketball,” Adam Petrick, Puma’s global director of brand and marketing, told Complex. The brand currently works with ambassadors like Big Sean and The Weeknd but might have a hard time keeping up with Adidas’s star power Adidas. Basketball is the arena where there might be an opening.

Jay is a huge asset to Puma in another way, too. The rapper owns his own sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, and can now presumably use his connection with players to funnel them towards the sneaker company he now has a large stake in. Does that feel like a potentially huge conflict of interest? Absolutely: now, a negotiation between an athlete represented by Roc Nation and Puma theoretically puts Jay-Z on both sides of the table. But that’s most likely the point: Puma presumably gets a stronger shot now at every big name athlete that signs to Roc Nation, and Roc Nation can advertise its frictionless relationship with a sneaker company to potential clients. Leveraging Jay-Z’s name has had some success at his sports agency, where he’s signed a couple big-name athletes like Kevin Durant, Todd Gurley, and Robinson Cano.

If Jay isn’t enough, though, the money might be. Puma, clearly hoping to make a splash in its return to basketball, is outbidding the competition, according to Ayton. “Nike is Nike. Adidas is Adidas. I’ve played in their circuits and stuff like that, but now it’s a business,” he told Bleacher Report today. “You don’t want just product. You’re not a kid anymore. You’re really trying to get bank. That’s about it.”

For Puma, relaunching with Jay-Z feels like the only way to guarantee immediate relevance. New draftees are hardly ever great right away—and even the best aren’t big enough stars to carry entire brands from the jump. In Jay-Z, though, the brand’s found a tested veteran and Hall-of-Fame rapper that brings cachet to potential signees and customers. Puma has had success putting celebrities in charge of large portions of its business before. You might remember that Rihanna technically holds the title of creative director at Puma. And since she was installed at the very top of the brand’s org chart Puma’s seen huge gains on the women’s side of its business. So Puma’s really just following an ironclad rule of modern celebrity: when in doubt, follow Rihanna.

[Via GQ]

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XXXTENTACION, rising rapper accused of violence shot dead at 20

Jahseh Onfroy, the rapper and singer known as XXXTentacion, whose surge in popularity in the last year and a half — including a No. 1 album — came as he was facing accusations of violent crimes against a woman, was shot and killed outside a motor sports store in Deerfield Beach, Florida, on Monday afternoon. He was 20.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office confirmed the victim was Onfroy. Videos taken at the scene Monday and shared on social media showed the rapper’s slumped body in the driver’s seat of a black BMW sports car as a bystander tried to take his pulse. TMZ first reported the news of the shooting.

Onfroy had been approached by two armed suspects shortly before 4 p.m. Eastern time, in what appeared to be a robbery, the sheriff’s office said. At least one of the suspects fired a gun and struck the rapper before fleeing in a dark-colored SUV. Onfroy was taken to a hospital. Just after 5:30 p.m., the authorities said that he had been pronounced dead.

XXXTentacion quickly became one of popular music’s most controversial and, in some circles, reviled figures. In early 2017, ‘Look at Me!’ — a bratty, caustic, distorted song — became the first breakthrough hit of the SoundCloud rap movement. But at the time it was soaring in popularity, XXXTentacion was in jail after his arrest on charges including aggravated battery of a pregnant victim and false imprisonment.

By the time he was released from jail in March 2017, ‘Look at Me!’ was climbing the Billboard Hot 100; a month later, it peaked at No. 34, cementing the rapper’s place as a disrupter whose serious personal issues only led to more attention and, for some, shored up his outlaw mystique.

Onfroy was born on Jan. 23, 1998, in Plantation, Florida. He was raised primarily by his grandmother, and had multiple scuffles with the law. In 2013, he began recording and releasing music in earnest after a stint in a juvenile detention center. During the next two years, he self-released several projects, both as a solo artist and as a member of the Members Only collective.

Sonically, his music was foundational to the rowdy, genre-crashing approach that has become popular on the music streaming service SoundCloud over the past three years. Of the artists who got their start in that scene, he was one of the most commercially successful. His debut album, 17, was released last August, and has been certified gold. In March, he released his second album, ?, which made its debut at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.

At the time of his death, Onfroy was awaiting trial on charges of battery, false imprisonment and witness tampering. He had pleaded not guilty.

In a deposition before the trial, as well as an interview this month, Onfroy’s onetime girlfriend said she was a victim of frequent domestic abuse from him. “His favorite thing was to just backhand my mouth,’ she told Miami New Times. ‘That always left welts inside my lips.’

She said the violence culminated in an attack in October 2016, while she was pregnant, during which Onfroy punched, strangled, kicked and head-butted her. She said Onfroy then took her cellphone and moved her to an associate’s home for two days before she escaped. Onfroy was arrested the next morning.

Roger Gengo, the proprietor of the website Masked Gorilla, which chronicles the SoundCloud scene, said XXXTentacion was an early beacon for this burgeoning brand of underground hip-hop, and its most polarizing figure.

‘It was always this internal struggle for me — he’s so popular and shedding light on this scene, but he’s been accused of these terrible things,’ Gengo said. ‘Taking into account what he’d been accused of doing, his music was still incredibly authentic. His true self bleeds through into his lyrics and his music.’

Gengo added, ‘Wanting somebody to be held accountable for their actions doesn’t mean you want them to be killed in the street.’

The divisive terms of XXXTentacion’s rise only seemed to embolden his devoted followers. ‘Kids just represented for him so strongly,’ Gengo said. ‘They wanted to defend him and to believe that the allegations aren’t true. That builds the strongest fan base.’

XXXTentacion rarely gave interviews, but he often used social media to communicate directly to his fans. In a video posted to Instagram’s live feature, he spoke about what he hoped his legacy would be: ‘If I’m going to die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least 5 million kids happy, or they found some sort of answers or resolve in my life, regardless of the negative around my name, regardless of the bad things people say to me.’

XXXTentacion was at the center of an industry uproar last month when Spotify, the leading music streaming service, said it would stop promoting artists whose real-life conduct it found to be ‘hateful.’ Along with R. Kelly, who has faced decades of allegations regarding sexual abuse, Spotify cited XXXTentacion as someone whose songs would be removed from its playlists.

But after a backlash that included Kendrick Lamar’s label TDE, which called censorship a ‘super sensitive topic,’ Spotify rescinded the policy three weeks later and restored XXXTentacion’s hit song ‘Sad!’ to its prominent placement on the playlists. ‘Sad!’, with its deceptively bouncy chorus about suicide, has been streamed more than 270 million times on the service (and another 174 million on YouTube) and currently sits at No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 after peaking in the Top 10 earlier this year.

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Incredibles 2 enjoys record-breaking box office debut

The long-awaited Incredibles 2 has achieved the best ever box office debut for an animated film.

The eagerly-awaited sequel earned a record-breaking $180 million at the box office, beating the previous record set by Finding Dory, which made $135 million in 2016. What’s more,  The Incredibles 2 surpassed the best debut for a PG-rated movie, which was previously held by 2017’s Beauty and the Beast.

Box office analyst Paul Dergarbedian explained that the movie’s success is a reflection of the strength of the Pixar and Disney brands, as well as an effective marketing campaign.’The film shows the drawing power of the superhero genre, whether in the live action or animated realm.’

‘The combination of the Pixar brand and Disney’s perfectly executed marketing and distribution strategy made the film an instant classic and a box office juggernaut.’

Cathleen Taff, Disney’s head of distribution, claimed that part of the film’s box office success can be attributed to a long-standing desire for a sequel.

‘We’re so thrilled. Brad [Bird] and team put together a great film that delivers something for everybody. It was the perfect storm.’

The original Incredibles movie was released in 2004, and Samuel L Jackson – who voices the part of Lucius Best in the franchise – recently revealed he’s been asked about an Incredibles sequel ‘five or six times a week’ for more than a decade.

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Rihanna confirms new music is on the way

Rihanna has confirmed she is in the studio working on new music to follow her 2016 LP, Anti, and last year’s collaborations ‘Lemon’ and ‘Wild Thoughts’.

The 30-year-old Bajan star is keeping details close to her chest, but has reassured fans that they can expect to hear something new from the star – who featured on DJ Khaled’s ‘Wild Thoughts’ and N.E.R.D’s ‘Lemon’ last year – at some point.Appearing on The Graham Norton Show on Friday night, she teases: ‘I am actually in the studio at the moment.’

However, when asked when fans can expect new tunes, she said: ‘You’ll just have to wait and see.’

The ‘Diamonds’ singer was promoting her new movie, Ocean’s 8, with her castmates Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Cate Blanchett and Helen Bonham Carter.

In April, it was rumoured that Rihanna is rumoured to be working on two new albums.

The singer was reportedly disappointed with how her last LP, Anti performed, and is planning to storm the charts with a double-disc record of sizzling tracks.

A source said at the time: ‘Rihanna wasn’t happy with how her last album performed – even though she loved how it turned out, she knows she needs a new project full of smash hits to avoid two back-to-back flops.’

‘She’s currently recording two albums – one full of chart-friendly songs, and another made up of moody and experimental tracks – and is considering releasing a double disc if she feels the songs won’t mesh well on the same album.’

Anti was released in 2016 and was placed at number 32 in the UK in the end of year charts and five in the 2016 US Billboard 200.

It was reported last year that Rihanna had registered two new songs with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers copyright organisation (ASCAP) titled ‘Phatty’ and ‘Only One Who Knows’. ‘Phatty’ is thought to have been co-written with reggae artist Buju Banton.

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4 things you didn’t know you could do on Facebook Messenger

The world’s most used Messaging app is more than just a place to store the savagery of your group chat.

There’s more to a life spent on Facebook messenger than, well, Facebook and Messaging. Over a couple of years or so in which it’s slowly rose to become the most dominant third-party messaging app on the planet, Facebook has integrated a bunch of features into the app that most people don’t even realise is there, giving it the capability to go above and beyond the capabilities you’d expect a modern social media app to have these days. For example:

Book A Trip, Restaurant, Just About Anything

Messenger is actually integrated with Tripadvisor and has it’s own in-house bot, named ‘Open Table’ both of which can help groups find and book a table at a restaurant. The Tripadvisor bot is also capable of fielding requests to book flights, hotels, and just about every other aspect of an upcoming trip you’d like to take, all without leaving the app once.

Host Massive Video Chats

While Skype has its merits, Messenger is slowly come to lead the field in day-to-day video chat, mainly because it puts your entire Facebook friend group at the tip of your fingers instead of having to juggle accounts. It’s also a more powerful video chat tool than you’d, capable of hosting video conferences of up to 50 people at a time.

If small-scale video chat is more your thing, Facebook can also send 15-second video snippets for quick communication on the go.

Make Group Playlists On Spotify

Depending on your music taste, Messenger’s integration with Spotify could either end really well or in an absolute roasting by your group chat if you happen to stick a dud in the communal playlist. The risk is yours to take, but it’s a pretty cool feature, especially for building a quick party playlist on the go.

Use AR To Shop

Messenger is one of the places where AR shopping is making its biggest leaps and bounds. Two of the world’s biggest retailers, in the form of Nike and Sephora, are in fact already on there, virtually flogging their wares. It’s still pretty basic, letting you take 3D looks around a sneaker or try on a lipstick through the use of what is basically a Snapchat filter, but it points to a pretty cool future of online shopping all the same.

[Via GQ]

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Jay-Z and Beyoncé Just Dropped Their Joint Album

Everything Is Love is streaming exclusively on—you guessed it!—TIDAL.

Happy Saturday afternoon! What have you been up to? Did you have a nice brunch? Get a lot of house chores done? Cool, because none of that matters now that Jay-Z and Beyoncé have finally dropped their long rumored joint album. Which is great, since you probably didn’t have plans tonight anyway.

Everything Is Love is streaming on TIDAL, the preferred music platform of the Carters and Carter-adjacent musicians. It features nine songs, all of which are credited to both Jay and Bey. Additionally, the two dropped a non-album track called “SALUD!”

The Carters are currently on their combined On the Run 2 tour, so expect to hear some of these songs live soon.

 

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

If you don’t have a TIDAL account, you can still enjoy the music video for the trap-inflected song “APESHIT” and hear Jay-Z do his best Migos impression, and also Migos do their best Migos impression. Anyway, the video is tight, especially if you’ve never been to the Louvre.

[Via GQ]

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