Keith Robinson is having the best year ever.
After crooning as CC White alongside Dreamgirls’ Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose 10 years ago, he’s taking his talents to Tupac‘s long-awaited Benny Boom directed biopic, All Eyez On Me, as the late legend’s first manager and TNT founder, Atron Gregory. From acting to songwriting to music, the 40-year-old, who first played the Green Ranger in the TV series Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue, is riding high, sparking his quest to superstardom.
The Kentucky native isn’t an amateur singer, and his latest single, “Love Somebody,” proves his immaculate vocals and seasoned talent. Wooing his heart’s interest with an opening falsetto, the Get On Up actor seduces on the track, a teaser to his new album, Love Episodic, due for a Spring release.
We caught up with the actor as he talked about what fans can expect from ‘Pac’s biopic, what he thinks of the Oscar boycott and more.
The Source: Congratulations on your role in Tupac’s biopic, All Eyez on Me.
Keith Robinson: It’s dope! It’s a classic subject and I hope the movie can do [his story] justice. I’m really happy with the excitement around it, I’m just happy to be a part of it.
Hip Hop doesn’t often make its way into theatrical productions, but HBO Def Jam poet Idris Goodwin is here to change that. The award-winning playwright, educator, author and emcee has penned a series of Hip Hop-inspired plays, beginning with How We Got On: A Break Beat Play.
The play tells the story of Hank, Julian, and Luann, three talented, determined suburban teens coming of age in the ‘80s while dreaming of fame and fortune in the emerging Hip Hop music scene. They must first, however, overcome cultural isolation, familial dysfunction, and ruthless rivalries to make the music that defines their lives. A sultry DJ spins their stories with her own meta-theatrical perspective in this contemporary ode to the roots of Hip Hop culture.
“The play is inspired by the innocence of that era,” Goodwin says. “Cats had the rope chains and track suits like the drug dealers, but they were also dancing in the videos and having a good time. It was very youthful and playful. That EPMD song “Please Listen to My Demo” was a big influence—that very earnest wide eyed desire to be heard and the ingenuity required in that analog era. You actually had to really know how to manipulate technology. Now you can make an album on your phone.
According to several eyewitness reports, improv show Wild N’ Out host Nick Cannon and Hip Hop producer turned reality star Stevie J. almost got into a physical altercation on the set of the MTV rhyme-inspired show after the two exchanged words over their past women, but more specifically, Mariah Carey.
Stevie J and Joseline Hernandez, who are currently pushing their reality show, were guests on “Wild ‘N Out” Monday, when the former Bad Boy‘s Hitmen producer stepped out of line in a rhyme ,saying that he smashed Cannon’s former wife twice.
Cannon mentioned Hernandez sleeping with rapper Rick Ross, words were exchanged and if it wasn’t for the show’s producers, Stevie and Nick would’ve definitely danced live on Wild N’ Out.
Word is, Cannon told Stevie J. that he won’t ever work in Hollywood again. Let’s see if he keeps his word.
On Memorial Day, The History Channel will debut a four part remake of the epic Roots saga. The updated version of the 1977 Alex Haley written film was produced by A&E Studios and will premiere May 30 in A&E, History and Lifetime.
The A-list cast includes Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anika Noni Rose, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Matthew Goode, Mekhi Phifer, James Purefoy, Regé-Jean Page and Malachi Kirby.
See the official trailer below.