Remembering Rapper & Actor DMX

Actor and Rapper DMX, whose real name was Earl Simmonds, passed away on Friday, April 9, 2021. He was 50 years old.

The Grammy-nominated performer suffered from “catastrophic cardiac arrest,” according to the Associated Press. He was admitted to a New York hospital on April 2 relating to an overdose and heart attack.

DMX has been on life support since and, according to a former manager, has been in a “vegetative state”.

The family released a statement reading, “Earl was a warrior who fought until the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart, and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world, and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle, and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”

Late R&B singer Aaliyah’s mother Diane Haughton took to social media to paid tribute to DMX sharing “Earl you had and still have a heart of hold. You and Baby Girl will meet again with all the beautiful people we have lost. We will never forget your kindness. NEVER! Blessings to your family! Eternally! –Aaliyah’s Mom


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Instagram post from @aaliyah on Instagram

DMX, originally from New York, is known for memorable club songs like “Party Up (Up in Here)” and “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” was a staple in hip-hop during the late 90s and early ’00s.

Photo Credit: Joe Traver/Reuters
DMX performing at Woodstock in 1999.

The first five of his eight albums were all at no.1 on the billboard 200 album chart.

Albums included “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” released in 1998, “Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood” released in 1999, “…And Then There Was X” released in 2000, “The Great Depression” released in 2001, and “The Grand Champ” released in 2003.

In addition to being a successful rapper, DMX was an actor who was a part of films like “Romeo Must Die” with Jet Li and the late Aaliyah, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Last Hour.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros/Everett Collection
DMX with Steven Segal and Eva Mendes in Exit Wounds

A few highlights from DMX is that he made the time to help the less fortunate.

In 2017 surprised a Philadelphia homeless support group; by giving a group of men advice. He also helped a family in Maine by purchasing back-to-school supplies for a couple of years.

DMX is survived by his 15 children and his mother. You can stream DMX music on services like Spotify and Apple Music.

Cover Photo: Getty Images

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

“Friends” Reunion for HBO Max on the Way

After a year of curiosity, we finally have an answer. The “Friends” reunion is on the way.

Production for the highly anticipated “Friends” reunion hit a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was supposed to film last year.

The reunion is officially on and starts production the week of April 5.

The original cast of Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry will take place on the original Warner Bros soundstage (stage 24) located in Burbank, California.

Photo Credit: NBC

Schwimmer, who played Ross on the beloved sitcom, confirmed the reunion on The Graham Norton by sharing, “I’m going to Los Angels – we’re going to be shooting the Friends reunion next week, I’m going to see everyone next week for the first time in many years.”

He continued sharing that “There’s nothing scripted, we’re not in character. We are all ourselves, although there is one section of it that I don’t want to give away, but we all read something.”

Photo Credit: NBC

“Friends” originally aired on NBC for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004. The original reunion was February 2020 with a premiere of May 2020 on HBO Max. However, due to the pandemic, everything was delayed.

You can re-watch every episode of “Friends” on HBO Max now and keep an eye out for the reunion’s official release date by following HBO Max on Twitter.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Indoor Concerts, Theater Performance, and Conferences Resume April 15

After a year of canceled concerts and theater performances, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday, April 2, 2021, because the rate of people testing positive for the coronavirus has reached a record low, Indoor Concerts, Theatre Performances, and Conventions can resume starting April 15.

Testing or proof of vaccination for some of the events won’t be required; however, limits on the number of people admitted will be enforced.

Events requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination can increase capacity limits compared to events that don’t.

Private indoor gatherings such as weddings, meetings, and conferences are only allowed if guests present proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event or show proof of full vaccination.

Photo Credit: Jared Murray on Unsplash

Here are the new regulations on indoor live events beginning April 15 based on tiers.
(These apply to venues with a capacity of up to 1,500 people)

  • Purple Tier: Indoor live events or performances are not allowed
  • Red Tier: Capacity is limited to 10% or 100 people; however, if guests present a negative COVID test or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to 25%.
  • Orange Tier: 15% capacity or 200 people max; if guests present a negative COVID test or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to 35%.
  • Yellow tier: 25% or 300 people; however, if guests present a negative COVID test or show proof of full vaccination, capacity increases to 50%.

Here are the regulations for larger venues based on tiers:

  • Red Tier: Proof of a negative COVID test or full vaccination is required, and capacity is restricted to 20%
  • Orange Tier: 10% or 2,000 people capacity; however, capacity will increase to 50% if all guests present proof of a negative COVID test or proof of full vaccination.
  • Yellow tier: 10% or 2,000 people capacity; however, capacity will increase to 50% if all guests either show proof of a negative COVID test or proof of full vaccination.

Photo Credit: Screenshot of California Tier map from covid19.ca.gov

Verify your county tier here to see what restrictions are currently in effect.

Governor Newsom wants Californians to continue wearing masks and practicing social distance even with the easing of restrictions.

Will you be hitting up live performances or wait it out a bit longer? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram.

Cover Photo: Concert by Pien Muller on UnSplash

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Chris Meloni Returns as Elliot Stabler for Law and Order Spin-Off and Reunion Preview

Elliot Stabler is back and this time with his own show. NBC released the first promo for the upcoming Law and Order: SVU spin-off.

Christopher Meloni who played Elliot Stabler on the hit show Law and Order: SVU is making his return to the Law and Order Universe and we could not be more excited.


Photo Credit: @Chris_Meloni on Instagram

Meloni who played Elliot Stabler on SVU left the series in 2011 due to not reaching an agreement during contract negotiations between production and the actor. After Meloni left the show fans of the beloved series were devastated as they enjoyed every minute of the beloved chemistry between Stabler (Meloni Character) and his partner Oliva Benson (played by Mariska Hagitay).

The two were partners on the show from Season 1 which debuted in 1999 through season 12 which aired in 2011. Now in 2021, it has been 10 years since the two characters appeared on our screen.


Photo Credit: NBC

In the promo, we see Benson (Mariska Hargitay character) at a crime scene and she hears “Liv!” shouted from in the distance. It is stabler (Meloni character) calling out her name with Benson replying “Elliot”.
Both Meloni and Hargitay have provided fans a sneak peak of the upcoming reunion by posting photos from set on social media over the last couple of months. Hargitay and showrunner Warren Leight teased an upcoming reunion between the two characters by posting a photo from a table read via zoom with Stabler and Benson on the same call with the rest of the cast. Leight ended his tweet with “Oh, and @Mariska and @Chris_Meloni” confirming both of them were on the call.


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Tweet from Warren Leight (@warrenleightTV) on Twitter

The on-screen reunion between these two characters will play out during a special crossover of Law and Order SVU to introduce Meloni’s new show. The crossover event begins Thursday April 1, 2021 at 9 pm on NBC with Law and Order SVU and then the official premiere of Law and Order: Organized Crime immediately following at 10 PM.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA