November 25, 1990 |
THE SHOW: "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"(NBC, Mondays, 8 p.m.) THE SETUP: Will Smith plays "the Fresh Prince" (also his real-life rap moniker), a kid from a tough Philly neighborhood whose parents send him to live with his well-to-do uncle Philip Banks (James Avery) and his family in Bel-Air. The frequent clashes between the young rapper and the upper-crust set provide sparks. And also some smooth dance steps.
February 26, 1994
Years ago Woody Guthrie used the traditional format of the "Talking Blues" to create "Talking Dust," "Talking Merchant Marine," "Talking Constitution" to express his anti-Establishment views. Later, Vern Partlow wrote "Old Man Atom," which ended with ". . . peace on the Earth or the Earth in pieces." Since then, many folk singers have used the format to express their own critiques of society--the Vietnam War, the population explosion--with great effect. Notably, these songs have been absent from the airwaves as "subversive" and "radical."
August 31, 2008 |
The 25 best L.A. films of the last 25 years "Los ANGELES isn't a real city," people have said, "it just plays one on camera." It was a clever line once upon a time, but all that has changed. Los Angeles is the most complicated community in America -- make no mistake, it is a community -- and over the last 25 years, it has been both celebrated and savaged on the big screen with amazing efficacy. Damaged souls and flawless weather, canyon love and beach city menace, homeboys and credit card girls, freeways and fedoras, power lines and palm trees . . . again and again, moviegoers all over the world have sat in the dark and stared up at our Los Angeles, even if it was one populated by corrupt cops or a jabbering cartoon rabbit.
March 23, 2013 |
The powerful narcotic popped up on the cultural grid around the turn of the millennium. A Texas producer-remixer named DJ Screw paid homage to its woozy, heavy-lidded high by dramatically slowing down beats and vocals to replicate the drug's sleepwalker euphoria. Among Southern rappers, the chemical mixture - called "sizzurp" on the street - soon became as ubiquitous as gold jewelry. This wasn't some exotic new hallucinogen. In fact, it was usually mixed with fruit soda and sipped from oversized plastic foam cups.
April 24, 1995 |
Even before AIDS-stricken rap star Eric (Eazy-E) Wright was laid to rest earlier this month, Wright's former lovers and business associates were haggling in Los Angeles Superior Court for control over his dwindling fortune. "It's sad and it's shocking," said the rapper's 26-year-old widow, Tomica Woods Wright, who has a year-old child by Wright and is pregnant with another, due in September. "A lot of people who claim to know (Wright) really didn't.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 2009 |
Baatin, a rapper who co-founded the progressive hip-hop group Slum Village, was found dead Saturday morning in Detroit. He was 35. Ty Townson, a family friend, confirmed Baatin's death to the Detroit Free Press. Details were not released. Baatin, who left Slum Village around 2003, had said in interviews over the years that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and struggled with emotional problems. He embarked on a solo career but reportedly had recently rejoined the group.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 2011 |
Rapper Heavy D died last month of a blood clot in his lung that was likely formed during a long flight home from London, where he had performed a tribute to Michael Jackson, according to the L.A. County coroner's office. Although some had speculated that Heavy D's weight or pneumonia played a role in his death last month, the autopsy report released Tuesday revealed that he suffered from deep leg thrombosis that caused a pulmonary embolism. Known as the silent killer, a pulmonary embolism is the medical term for a blood clot in the lung.