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Bushwick Bill, Of Houston Rap Group Geto Boys, Dead At 52

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Photo By LaNell Taylor - February 8, 2019 backstage at rapper Lil Sin's Birthday Bash

June 10, 201911:27 AM ETHeard on All Things Considered

Houston rapper Bushwick Bill, a founding member of the pioneering rap crew Geto Boys, died on Sunday evening in Colorado, his publicist, Dawn P., confirmed with NPR. A cause was not given pending a medical examination; the rapper was diagnosed earlier this year with pancreatic cancer. He was 52 years old.

Born Richard Shaw in Kingston, Jamaica, the artist moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn as a young child — hence his rap moniker — before relocating to Houston, where he first joined the Rap-A-Lot Records-assembled group in the early-to-mid-’80s as a breakdancer and hype man. But as members came and went, he found his way to the mic.

Known for his brash persona and performative storytelling, Bill’s unhinged, engaging bars on Geto Boys classics like “F*** a War,” “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” and “Mind of a Lunatic” were central to the group carving out its place as a pioneering Southern rap unit in the late ’80s and early ’90s. While Scarface was hailed as the lyricist of the group, Bushwick Bill’s appeal lied in his erratic, say-anything verses. In hip-hop’s Golden Era, Geto Boys is credited with putting Houston on the map by pioneering horrorcore — a rap subgenre rooted in nightmarish imagery, physical abuse and psychological horror. Many of rap’s current stars, from Jeezy and Lil Wayne to Juice WRLD and 21 Savage, have cited Geto Boys as an influence.

In the span of a decade, from 1988 to 1998 — including a three-year hiatus, from ’93 to ’96 — Geto Boys released an impressive six albums. As a soloist, Bill released six solo albums from 1992 to 2010, while Geto Boys reunited for a 2005 album, The Foundation. In 2019, on the heels of Bill’s cancer diagnosis, the members announced they were planning a farewell tour, to be called The Beginning of a Long Goodbye, The Final Farewell. The tour was later cancelled due to Bill pulling out of the performance dates.

Bushwick Bill was born with dwarfism and suffered from joint pain. In October 1991, Bill — drunk on Everclear and arguing with his then-girlfriend as he details in the song “Ever So Clear” — was shot in the eye. Willie D and Scarface posed alongside Bushwick Bill in the hospital halls the night he was shot, a photo which would later be used as the album cover of the trio’s 1991 seminal album We Can’t BeStopped. To date, it remains the group’s best-selling. In 2010, Bushwick Bill was arrested in Atlanta, charged with criminal possession of cocaine and marijuana and facing possible deportation.

Bill first shared the news that he was battling cancer on May 1, 2019. In a video posted to TMZ, the ailing rapper announced he was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February 2019 and, up to that point, had not told his fellow Geto Boys, Willie D and Scarface. Later that same month, Bill was hospitalized with pneumonia and was forced to cancel the remaining shows on the Geto Boys reunion tour. “Now, the rumor is I pulled out on the tour, but if my health was a concern then you would know about my health, not about me pulling out of the tour,” the rapper told fans in an Instagram video shot, speaking from a hospital bed. “This is a health issue. Pancreatic cancer. Chemotherapy gave me pneumonia.”

Speaking to Vice in 2015, ahead of a screening of the horror film Child’s Play that he was set to host in Los Angeles, Bushwick Bill explained the hope he found in fusing rap and the macabre: “There are these little moments in life where if you’re under the right stars and the right light hits you, or when the northern lights are going by you could become a superhuman being. To be able to be bigger than who you are, I think people have always been fascinated with that. That you could turn into a werewolf and be strong, or that you could use electricity and bring something back to life.”

Additional reporting by Andrew Flanagan

(Source: NPR)

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TV One Premiers New True Crime Drama Blood on Her Badge

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(SILVER SPRING, MD) – November 11, 2020– TV One newest suspense-drama film BLOOD ON HER BADGE premieres Monday,November 16, 2020 at 8 P.M. ET/7C. Inspired by true crime events, this gripping film details the journey of an ill-fated romance and stars Rayven Symone Ferrell (The Hate You GiveThe Bobby Brown StoryTequan Richmond (BoomerangEverybody Hates Chris). BLOOD ON HER BADGE tells a true crime tale of Dee Johnson (Ferrell), a charming and eager young cop. As Dee settles into her new career, she falls for Trey (Richmond) a captivating younger man. As life begins to fall into place, Dee begins to make risky decisions that ultimately alter her objectivity. With no real moral grounding, Dee allows herself to be manipulated by her lover, resulting in tragic repercussions.


The BLOOD ON HER BADGE cast also includes Miguel Nunez (The Family Business, Bronx SUI) Tetona Jackson (BoomerangAll Night), and Johnell Young (Wu-Tang: An American Saga).


BLOOD ON HER BADGE was written by Scott Mullen and directed by Kenn Michael with casting by Leah Daniels Butler. The film is produced by The Asylum with Executive Producer David Rimawi, Co-Producer, Paul Bales and Producer David Michael Latt. 
For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at 

www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media onTwitterInstagram and Facebook using the hashtags #BLOODONHERBADGE and #REPRESENT.

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CHRISTMAS DILEMMA

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TV ONE TAPS ESSENCE ATKINS FOR DIRECTORIAL DEBUT ON ORIGINAL HOLIDAY FILM CHRISTMAS DILEMMA PREMIERING ON 
SUNDAY, DECEMBER, 6 AT 7 P.M. EST / 6C
 
The New Comedy Stars BJ Britt, Brittany Hall, Carl Anthony Payne II, and Christopher B. Duncan

(SILVER SPRING, MD) – November 5, 2020 – TV One today announced  the premiere date for its new original holiday film CHRISTMAS DILEMMA is set for Sunday, December 6, 2020at 7 P.M. ET/ 6Cwith an immediate encore at 9 P.M. ET/ 8C. The film marks the first project directed by Essence Atkins and builds on the actor’s longstanding relationship with TV One. As an actor, Atkins’ TV One credits include original films such as Girlfriend’s Getaway and its sequel, along with Coins For Christmas, and Coins For Love. Filmed in Atlanta, the movie stars BJ Britt (Being Mary JaneAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Brittany Hall (BallersSatisfaction) , Carl Anthony Payne II (Martin5th Ward), and Christopher B. Duncan (Black LightningThe Jamie Foxx Show).

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to collaborate with TV One once again to direct my first movie,” remarked Atkins. “I am immeasurably grateful for the opportunity to helm a film that I can declare I’m proud of. This entire experience has taught me so much and was a true delight.” 

“This will undoubtedly be a different kind of holiday, so we thought an offbeat Christmas comedy was the perfect choice,” remarked Robyn Green Arrington, VP Programming and Production. “Additionally, having consistency behind-the-scenes during this unpredictable time was a must, so working long-time production partner, Swirl was a no-brainer. Continuing our tradition of giving deserving and prepared talent an opportunity to diversify, made the decision to have Essence Atkins at the helm of this movie easy.” 

CHRISTMAS DILEMMA follows a newlywed couple Jay (Britt) and Monica (Hall) as they struggle to decide which set of in-laws they should join for their first Christmas. After each pleads their case and even attempts a little trickery, they decide to bypass the guaranteed disappointment of picking one family over the other. Unbeknownst to them, the decision is made for them when their families show up at their home unexpectedly. Drama ensues as the in-laws clash, long-lost relatives decide to make an appearance, and Jay’s grandmother joins the holiday festivities accompanied her caretaker who just happens to be Jay’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend.

CHRISTMAS DILEMMA cast includes:        
BJ Britt as Jay       
Brittany Hall as Monica       
Carl Anthony Payne II as Eddie       
Christopher B. Duncan as Howard  

CHRISTMAS DILEMMA is produced for TV One by Swirl Films, with Eric G. Tomosunas and COO Robert A. Boyd II, serving as Executive Producers. James Seppelfrick, Ron Robinson and Keith Neal serve as producers for Swirl Films. For TV One, Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production. For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hashtag #CHRISTMASDILEMMA.
ABOUT SWIRL FILMSSwirl Films is one of the leading independent TV & Urban Film Production companies in the country, based out of Atlanta, Georgia and founded by Eric Tomosunas in 2001. Swirls project slate includes the wildly popular original drama series, Saints & Sinners, and as well as high-quality films and series produced for TV One, BET, Bounce, Lifetime, Hallmark, Reel One, Netflix & Up TV. Swirl Films provides services and content across various areas of production spanning from script to screen, for movies, biopics, scripted series, award shows and documentaries. Purchased in 2019, Swirl Films owns and operates its own 100,000 square foot film studio in Atlanta.

ABOUT TV ONELaunched in January 2004, TV One serves 59 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult black viewers. The network represents the best in black culture and entertainment with fan favorite shows Unsung, Uncensored, ATL Homicide, Fatal Attraction and Urban One Honors. In addition, TV One is the cable home of original blockbuster films including When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story, Bobbi Kristina and The Bobby DeBarge Story. TV One is solely owned by Urban One, Inc., formerly known as Radio One, Inc. [NASDAQ: UONE and UONEK, www.urban1.com], the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences.
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R.I. P. Rance Allen

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If you grew up in a home where the Bobby Jones Gospel show aired on BET you most likely have experienced the sounds of Rance Allen. Renowned gospel singer Rance Allen, known for his wide range vocals, spiritually moving voice, and hits like “Ain’t No Need of Crying” and “I Belong To You” got his heavenly wings Saturday, October 31, 2020. It was reported that he died while recovering from a “medical procedure” at Heartland ProMedica in Sylvania, OH. He was 71.

One of 12 children, Allen was the founder and leader of the Rance Allen group which he formed and performed with with his brothers Tom and Steve. Allen was a singer, songwriter, musician, minister, and bishop. May his works never be forgotten.

For more information about Rance Allen and the Rance Allen Group visit theranceallengroup.com

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