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

Disney+ Crashes During WandaVision Season Finale

As fans tried to tune into the finale of Disney’s WandaVision, technical difficulties prevented some users from watching the premiere at midnight.

On Thursday night, Disney+ subscribers were eager to watch the final episode of WandaVision. The 9-episode Marvel spinoff following Wanda Maximoff (aka the Scarlet Witch) and Vision has been an absolute hit, with the show trending weekly on social media during each Friday episode release. Many viewers rush to stream the show as soon as the clock hits midnight.

However, some of them weren’t able to watch the finale right when it dropped. Instead of seeing the opening title, fans were met with error messages displayed on their screens. Some people expressed their frustration on Twitter, as some users waited hours to view the highly anticipated finale.

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Tweet from @JanatisSnagz on Twitter
Photo Credit: Screenshot of Tweet from @Breyahna_xo on Twitter

It seemed that most of the crashes affected those on the U.S. West Coast, according to reports from IGN. Downdetector, a site that tracks technical issues at streaming services and websites, noted a spike in reports from around the time the episode was made available.

Photo Credit: Down Dector of Disney+ from downdetector.com

While fans have raised concerns about Disney+ instability within past weeks, many would have hoped to watch the finale hassle-free. That aside, WandaVision has already become a fan favorite within the Marvel cinematic universe. You can watch the official trailer here.

Cover Photo Credit: Disney+

Written by: Nathalie Lum, Entertainment News Correspondent


ViacomCBS Announces New Streaming Service Paramount Plus

As the rebranded version of CBS All Access, Paramount Plus will launch March 4 and is set to feature a massive catalog of movies, television, news, and sports.

At their latest event, ViacomCBS unveiled an expansive slate of both old and new content coming to their reinvented streaming platform. This will include everything from its subsidiary networks and studios, including Paramount, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, CBS, and the Smithsonian Channel.

Viewers will have access to a vast portion of ViacomCBS properties, consisting of 30,000 episodes, 2,500 movie titles and over 1,000 live sporting events, plus 24/7 news coverage. There will be two pricing tiers: a $9.99 per month premium plan available on March 4 and then a $4.99 per month ad-supported option that launches in June. Over the next four years, ViacomCBS is reportedly spending $5 billion on streaming in hopes of drawing in 65 to 75 million subscribers worldwide.

A Cornucopia of Content: What to Expect

In addition to their existing library of fan-favorites–from Spongebob Squarepants to Hunger Games–Paramount Plus will carry a number of feature films, reboots, and original series based on popular franchises. President and CEO of ViacomCBS, Bob Bakish, stated that Paramount Plus will primarily focus its efforts on children’s programming, scripted dramas, and reality TV. This will carry debuts of over 50 original series over the next two years. Notable mentions include revivals of Criminal Minds and MTV’s The Real World, new shows based on the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe, and movie projects from Workaholics and Beavis and Butt-head. Select Paramount films are also set to premiere exclusively on the platform shortly after their theatrical releases, including A Quiet Place II, Mission Impossible 7, and a Paw Patrol movie.

In addition to the plethora of movies and TV series offered, Paramount Plus will stream live sports with exclusive rights to NCAA, NFL, PGA Tour, and UEFA Champions League games.

You can read more about what’s coming to Paramount Plus on their Twitter thread as well as the ViacomCBS website. With the streaming wars heating up, how do you think Paramount Plus will stack up against the likes of Disney, Netflix, HBO, NBCUniversal, and other major players?

Cover Photo Credit: Variety

Written by: Nathalie Lum, Entertainment News Correspondent