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  1. Original Space Jam director Joe Pytka has revealed his opinions on Space Jam: A New Legacy, railing against the follow-up film with a number of heavy criticisms. The new movie has received mixed reviews from critics, with many bashing the film’s intense reliance on Warner Bros.’ extensive library of popular franchises. Others have been reacted more positively to the film’s family-friendly tone and colorful style, but apparently Pytka isn’t one of them. Though its objective quality as a film is debatable, the original Space Jam is undeniably one of the most iconic movies of the 1990s. The collision of Michael Jordan, an athlete and celebrity of near-unprecedented public appeal, and a household name brand like Looney Tunes, brought an inherent fun factor that has kept it popular decades after its theatrical release. Space Jam 2 therefore had big shoes to fill – shoes that some might say were unfair to put on LeBron James’ feet in the first place. Per TMZ, Pytka has laid into Space Jam 2 from just about every angle. The director, whose only other feature film directorial credit is the critically panned comedy Let It Ride, said that James was not a big enough celebrity to carry the film the way Jordan did, saying that “the truth is that LeBron ain't Michael." The commercial director went on to criticize the new film’s soundtrack as “insignificant” and the new version of Bugs Bunny as "looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long." In brief, Pytka is not a fan of Space Jam: A New Legacy. Pytka claims that it took him five attempts to watch Space Jam 2 all the way through, and while the film does have its moments of corporate intrusion and lackluster storytelling, it isn’t markedly sillier or more poorly written than the original. A New Legacy currently holds a dismal critical score of 31 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but the original Space Jam isn’t much higher at just 44 percent. By contrast, the sequel holds a notably higher audience rating of 81 percent, compared to only 63 percent for the original. Does Space Jam 2 have problems? Absolutely, but it also delivers a fun, stylish, kid-oriented adventure story with plenty of quality jokes for more serious basketball fans. Pytka is of course entitled to his own opinion, and as someone who’s partially famous for helping Madonna sell Pepsi, he may know a thing or two about celebrity branding and selling out. But that doesn’t mean his scathing criticisms of Space Jam: A New Legacy should necessarily be taken as the final word on the film.
  2. HBO is planning multiple Game of Thrones spinoffs, but they're all set to be prequels rather than sequels, a decision that makes sense for the stories and the cable channel. Game of Thrones ended in 2019, bringing to a close one of the biggest TV shows of all time. Although the ending was certainly divisive, that didn't dent HBO's plans for more stories set in Westeros and the lands beyond. Even before the show was over, various spinoffs were in development, and those ideas have continued to grow. First up will be House of the Dragon, a Targaryen centric prequel set nearly 200 years before Game of Thrones, chronicling the civil war known as The Dance of the Dragons. That is expected to release sometime in 2022, but it's only the beginning. While nothing else is officially happening, HBO reportedly has many more Game of Thrones spinoffs in the works, including an animated show based in the Empire of Yi Ti, an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's Tales of Dunk & Egg novellas, and a show following Corlys Velaryon's Great Voyages, coming after the character's introduction in House of the Dragon. HBO's approach to Game of Thrones seems to be casting a fairly wide net - alongside those in development, a pilot for a show based around the Age of Heroes and the Long Night wasn't picked up, and another on Flea Bottom isn't moving forward. The stories range massively in terms of story, timeline, and geography, but the one consistent element is that they're all indirect prequels to Game of Thrones, not direct sequels. This is perhaps a somewhat surprising decision, given the popularity of the show, which for most IPs and franchises generally leads to continuations for established characters, or at least on events more closely linked to the main story. But for Game of Thrones it makes sense, not only because its ending was so divisive, but because it tied-up most of its character arcs. Looking at where Game of Thrones' characters ended up, there's little room for an obvious sequel or direct spinoff. The realm is relatively peaceful under King Bran, and it's hard to imagine a story built around his rule; Jon, Tyrion, and Sansa all had endings that didn't invite follow-ups, and the same can be said for popular secondary characters, such as Bronn. Perhaps the only possible spinoff setup was Arya searching for "what's West of Westeros," but that sort of voyage can be covered in other stories - indeed, HBO has 9 Voyages and 10,000 Ships in the works - that inevitably feel much fresher. HBO clearly isn't letting the response to Game of Thrones dictate things too much, given how many spinoffs it's green lighting, but that too suggests it's wise to look for new areas of exploration: people will come back to the world because it's so rich, but anything too close to the main story would be too soon. Similarly, building a story that's set before Game of Thrones but too close to it would also feel less satisfying. Robert's Rebellion, for instance, is something many have hoped to see, but so much of it was detailed in Game of Thrones that it doesn't feel necessary. The broadstrokes of The Dance of the Dragons might've been discussed, or teases of places like Yi Ti, but there's still so much more to learn about them, so they're better options. The future of Westeros is uncertain, and it may be that HBO does eventually explore it in some way - and if so, ideally far into it - but the past is so full of possibilities that prequels are a much better option right now. That feeling was backed-up by HBO's programming president Casey Bloys back in 2019, when he said Game of Thrones wouldn't get a sequel as he wanted it "to be its own thing," and for new shows to "feel distinct." With many more shows in the works, it's clear that's what HBO is doing, and that it's the best decision.
  3. Dwayne Johnson confirms he will not be returning for the upcoming Fast & Furious 10 or Fast & Furious 11. The actor first joined the franchise in Fast Five as Agent Luke Hobbs of the US Diplomatic Security Service. Since his introduction into the franchise, Hobbs has become a staple member of Dom’s chosen family, while also getting his own spin off in Hobbs & Shaw. Dwayne Johnson’s curious absence in the most recent franchise installment, F9, has reignited rumors of on-set infighting and tension. The rumors of feuding began in 2016, before the release of The Fate of the Furious, when Johnson posted an Instagram caption that criticized some of his male cast mates, which Johnson later confirmed was directed towards franchise star Vin Diesel. Soon after, beef between co-star Tyrese Gibson and Johnson became public when Gibson blamed Johnson for delaying F9 after being offered his own spin off in Hobbs & Shaw. That beef has since been squashed, however the beef between Diesel and Johnson is rumored to still be very much alive. Most recently, Diesel explained in an interview that he used tough love as a technique to get the performances out of actors he desired, calling it nearly “Felliniesque.” Though Johnson (somewhat unconvincingly) chalked up his absence in F9 to scheduling conflicts, it was widely believed that Johnson would appear again—especially since Fast & Furious director Justin Lin mentioned potentially having him in the 10th film. However, in a new article with THR, Johnson asserted that Hobbs won’t be returning in Fast & Furious 10, or maybe even ever. When asked about Diesel’s recent comments, Johnson explained curtly that he thought they were funny. Not to leave any bad blood behind, Johnson stated that he wished everyone in the franchise the best, but did not mince words about his lack of motivation to be a part of its future—at least, not in the main Fast Saga. “I laughed and I laughed hard. I think everyone had a laugh at that. And I’ll leave it at that. And that I’ve wished them well. I wish them well on Fast 9. And I wish them the best of luck on Fast 10 and Fast 11 and the rest of the Fast & Furious movies they do that will be without me.” Though it’s up in the air on whether Johnson’s absence was due to scheduling conflicts, it’s becoming easier to imagine that it wasn’t. Although, Johnson is certainly incredibly busy. At the time, he was slated to start production on his upcoming film for Netflix, Red Notice, which also starred former Fast & Furious star Gal Gadot. Though filming was delayed due to the pandemic, Johnson was also developing his biopic series for NBC, Young Rock. He is currently doing press for his upcoming Disney film alongside Emily Blunt, Jungle Cruise. Even more anticipated is his role in the upcoming Black Adam film, in which he plays the titular DC hero, which just recently finished filming. Johnson admits that portraying Black Adam is likely his hardest role yet. Whatever the case, it is disappointing for Fast & Furious fans to hear that Hobbs may not be a part of the culmination of the franchise’s main saga, which will reportedly end with the 11th film. Though he was a side character, Hobbs became a true part of Dom’s family—and Johnson’s on-screen charisma with the other cast members will certainly be missed. Hopefully, the two actors can work something out to change Johnson’s mind. Though, viewers won’t miss Hobbs for long as Johnson is definitely returning in the next Hobbs & Shaw film.
  4. Marvel Cinematic Universe's budding Multiverse Saga gets its own fan-poster. Three phases were spent building the Infinity Saga which centered around the Infinity Stones and Thanos' (Josh Brolin) quest for it. In the end, the Mad Titan was defeated, with Avengers: Endgame effectively closing a chapter of storytelling in the MCU. Now, the franchise is in a transition period as the foundation of its next overarching narrative is being set up. With only four projects released for Phase 4, it's far too early to be certain what Marvel Studios is planning long-term. However, it's clear from the end of Loki that the multiverse will be a significant part of the franchise moving forward. In the finale titled "For All Time. Always," the God of Mischief (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) discover He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) — the being behind the Time Variance Authority/TVA. He explained his origins and motivations to the variants, warning them that the organization was instituted to prevent another multiversal war. Unfortunately, Sylvie didn't buy it, and by the time He Who Remains was killed, countless branches of timelines have already grown, some of them already crossing over each other. Based on that, digital artist spdrmnkyxxiii figured that after the Infinity Saga, Marvel Studios is working on the Multiverse Saga now. And with that comes its own fan-made one-sheet featuring all the confirmed and rumored main players in the story including Loki and Sylvie, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), as well as, Kang the Conqueror — a version of He Who Remains. The Loki finale in itself set up at least five MCU Phase 4 projects, most of them could ultimately culminate in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Before there were even any concrete indications that Marvel Studios will officially do a deep dive into the existence of branched realities, the title of the Sam Raimi-directed sequel already hinted at that. Now, it makes sense that even Loki is set to appear in the blockbuster that is slated to release in early 2022. The question now is how much scope it will cover, after all, Kang the Conqueror isn't scheduled to properly debut until Peyton Reed's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania in 2023. It's also worth noting that besides this multiversal storyline, Marvel Studios could also be building another big crossover event in an adaptation of Secret Wars from the comics. Of course, there's already a Secret Invasion show in the works with Nick Fury (Samuel l. Jackson) and Talos the Skrull (Ben Mendelsohn) confirmed to be involved. Depending on how things will unfold in the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward, it's not outside the realm of possibility that ultimately, these two gigantic narratives are somehow connected to each other.
  5. Parents beware; a Baby Shark movie is currently in the works. Shark Week may have come to an end, but that hasn't stopped the shark sightings. Thanks to Nickelodeon, families everywhere can expect to be seeing a lot more of them soon. South Korean entertainment company, Pinkfong created the Baby Shark song that became an international sensation. The infamous children's song was published on Youtube in 2015 and quickly began to embed itself in the minds of those that heard it. The tune spurred a social media challenge and eventually gained so much attention that Nickelodeon created a spinoff animated series, Baby Shark's Big Show! It may seem like interest would have wained by this point, but executive decisions at the studio prove otherwise. Nickelodeon released a press statement detailing their future intentions for the franchise, and it appears that there are more fish in the sea. The studio not only revealed that Baby Shark's Big Show! was approved for another season but also that a Baby Shark movie is being produced. Ramsey Naito, President of Nickelodeon Animation Studio, offered his praise and approval for the projects in his statement below. "Baby Shark is an example of how we've been successful in bringing beloved properties that kids love from other platforms to Nickelodeon and opening up a whole new world of adventures. As home to the biggest franchises kids love, we're continuing to grow their footprint by introducing brand-new characters and storylines, and creating original content in every format for fans everywhere." A title has not been given to the upcoming film, and little has been revealed about the plot. However, it has been confirmed that Nickelodeon will co-produce the animated flick with SmartStudy, the company behind creating Pinkfong. The revelation of the movie was accompanied by that of Baby Shark's Big Show!'s additional season, so there is a good chance they may share some characters. The show follows Baby Shark, William the Fish, and their friends' oceanic adventures. The cast includes familiar voice actors like Luke Youngblood (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) and Patrick Warburton (The Emperor's New Groove). The announcement should not come as a surprise considering Baby Shark's Big Show!'s success on Nick Jr. It has been deemed the #2 show for children ages two to five, falling only behind Paw Patrol. Nickelodeon has done a great job capitalizing on an internet sensation and successfully converting it into a legitimate television series. Just like the song, Baby Shark is not going away any time soon!
  6. Earlier this year a new golf video game from Electronic Arts was announced. Built with the Frostbite game engine, EA Sports PGA Tour is the continuation of the PGA Tour series started in 1990. For most of its entries the series featured professional golfer Tiger Woods until Rory McIlroy replaced him in 2015. It's been nearly six years since this release, and the upcoming EA Sports PGA Tour will be adding new and upgraded features to the golf game series including famous women from the LPGA for the very first time. The LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) was founded in 1950 and is the oldest continuing professional women's sports organization in the United States. Since 2006, the LPGA has included a season-ending Titleholder's Championship for the top points-earning women from throughout the season. Another notable LPGA tournament is the Amundi Evian Championship, which will be featured when EA Sports PGA Tour arrives on next-gen systems. There will also be several other features for fans of the LPGA in the game. The LPGA representation in EA Sports PGA Tour has been partially overseen by GOLFTV and Sky Sports broadcaster Iona Stephen, who commentates for many LPGA events. Stephen will be the first female on-course commentator in the PGA Tour series. Stephen has said she is excited to see female athletes represented in the upcoming game and hopes to assist Electronic Arts in "giv[ing] women the satisfaction of playing a quality golf game while seeing themselves in a variety of ways that go beyond a handful of female character models." Beyond Stephen's commentary and the inclusion of the Amundi Evian Championship, EA Sports PGA Tour will have prominent LPGA professionals featured in the game. One of these professionals is Jin Young Ko, a Korean golfer who has won several awards and tournaments during her career and ended up in the number one player spot at the end of 2020's LPGA season. EA has a chance to include other big names in LPGA golf as well, such as Lydia Ko, Brooke M. Henderson, and Jessica and Nelly Korda. Players will be able to create and customize their own female golfer to use in EA Sports PGA Tour's many game modes. EA Sports PGA Tour's inclusion of LPGA athletes and events is a good addition to the franchise and may help give it an edge against competing golf game series PGA Tour 2K. Though PGA Tour 2K21 sold well following its release in August last year, one of its biggest criticisms was a lack of LPGA Tour events, courses, and golfers. More information will likely be revealed concerning EA Sports PGA Tour's LPGA content in the coming months as the spring of 2022 draws closer. EA Sports PGA Tour is scheduled to release in the spring of 2022.
  7. Jade Raymond's new studio Haven Entertainment Studios has yet to officially announce what the game is working on, but the studio announced in March that it would be pairing with PlayStation to develop its debut title. While there is still little known about Haven's new PlayStation exclusive, a new report claims to have information that the game will be an online service title. Jade Raymond is perhaps best known for her work at Ubisoft where she was a producer on the first two Assassin's Creed titles as well as a managing director of Far Cry 4. Raymond then went on to work at Google Stadia before founding Haven Entertainment Studios after Google Stadia closed two of its first-party studios. The reporting on Raymond's new title comes from Italian website Multiplayer.IT. The website claims that it received the information from a recruiter within the games industry that was hired by Haven Entertainment Studios to help the studio hire a developer with experience working on online service titles. Haven Entertainment Studios has already hired a lot of big-name developers in the past, including fellow Assassin's Creed producer Sebastien Pule as well as the series' lead writer Corey May. The studio has also hired the likes of Mathieu Leduc, who was the art director of the first two Watch Dogs titles, as well as Daniel Drapeau, the gameplay director of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The leak is also seemingly supported by recent statements from Raymond that seem to indicate the developer's interest in creating an online service title. Raymond has recently discussed her opinion that the hit franchises of the future would be driven by fans rather than developers. She has talked at length about how she believes that future titles need to give players the power to creatively develop and drive the story with their choices and actions have a tangible impact on the game and its canon. For examples she has pointed at successful live-service games such as Grand Theft Auto Online and Rainbow Six Siege. It will be very interesting to see what Raymond's team at Haven Entertainment Studios ends up releasing. Online Service games have become increasingly popular in recent years, with fans being willing to pour countless hours into their favorites. However, many have questioned just how many online service games the industry can support at once since each title asks players to devote a lot of their time and resources to the game. Hopefully, Raymond's team will be able to develop a title that can carve out its own place in the market and give players an exciting new experience.
  8. With Summer finally here, the influx of yearly sales have officially begun, with Steam offering fans an array of discounts to celebrate the season last month. Today, PlayStation has joined the fray, announcing its massive Summer Sale is now available over on the PlayStation Storefront. The digital marketplace is offering players a lineup of over 1,200 reduced titles, with the sale lasting for four weeks, concluding on August 18. They'll be able to grab several notable PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games, with some of the biggest being Housemarque's acclaimed time-bending roguelike, Returnal, and Insomniac's latest adventure in the Spider-Man universe, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Returnal will be available for $49.69, dropping by 29%, and Miles Morales will set players back $34.99, seeing a reduction of 30%. Players can also grab the latter's Ultimate Edition, which comes complete with a PlayStation 5 version of the original Marvel's Spider-Man. That version has been discounted by 21% and can be grabbed for $55.29. Other big games included are Demon's Souls, which costs $49.69, It Takes Two, which's been reduced to $29.99, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, which comes in at $44.59, and Hitman 3, which can be grabbed for $29.99. Ahead of tomorrow's EA Play showcase, players can also get their hands on some of the publisher's biggest recent releases, including NBA 2K21, FIFA 21, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, PGA Tour 2K21, and The Sims 4. However, the sale isn't all new games, and for those looking to grab themselves something on the cheaper side, there are some notable picks for under $10. Red Dead Online's standalone release can be grabbed for just $9.99, while players can also get Star Wars: Battlefront 2 for $9.99, Battlefield 5 for $9.59, The Forest for $7.99, For Honor for $4.49, and PUBG for $9.89. There's a range of DLCs to pick up too, including Borderlands 3's season pass, Mortal Kombat Ultimate's add-on bundle, virtual currency for NBA 2K21, Jump Force's character pass, and in-game unlock bundles for Devil May Cry 5. Those looking to add to their collection of Sims 4 DLCs are also in luck, with the sale featuring a ton of the game's add-ons, such as Realm of Magic, Strangerville, Vampires, and its Star-Wars-themed vacation pack, Journey to Batuu. For those wondering why a specific game hasn't received a discount, Sony teased in a PlayStation Blog post that more titles will be added to the promotion on August 4. However, it notes that several discounts will also be removed, so those with their eye on a specific game should make sure they've snagged it before the sale reshuffles in two weeks' time. The PlayStation Summer Sale concludes on August 18.
  9. Many fans were surprised by the announcement of The Witcher: Monster Slayer when it was revealed that the free mobile title would put a Pokemon GO-inspired spin on the franchise. However, fans who were intrigued by the idea of slaying Nekkers in their neighborhood can download The Witcher: Monster Slayer today. The Witcher is not the first franchise to attempt its own take on the Pokemon GO formula. Franchises like Harry Potter and Minecraft have also tried to get in on the AR fun, although Minecraft Earth ended up shutting down before leaving open beta as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Witcher: Monster Slayer had its release date announced just recently during the first WitcherCon. The game allows players to make their own witchers from the Wolf School to travel around their city fighting monsters and completing quests. The game promises to keep the tone and storytelling that fans love in the franchise in its questlines, while also allowing players to do all of the witcher classics like preparing bombs and oils, casting signs, being grumpy, and swinging around a sword. Players who complete the game's brief tutorial in the first week will even get a free sword that grants a 10% bonus to experience points from killing monsters. The Witcher: Monster Slayer promises to feature over 100 monsters from the franchise, and also boasts some impressive new additions to the genre to make it more reactive. This includes players only being able to face certain monsters or complete sections of quests during certain times of the day or in certain environments, such as only facing a foglet while it's raining. The developers have also said that the game will be more reactive to a player's environment, such as having NPCs comment on the weather or how long it takes players to complete quests. The game also features a full sword fighting system, which was shown off in the first gameplay trailer for The Witcher: Monster Slayer. It will be very interesting to see how many players pick up The Witcher: Monster Slayer. The franchise has become incredibly popular in recent years, but the app's announcement was met with some skepticism from fans that were more interested in a mainline entry for the series. However, Netflix's multiple shows set in The Witcher have brought a lot of new fans to the series that may be very interested to test out being a witcher for themselves. The Witcher: Monster Slayer is available now on Android and iOS.
  10. The gaming industry is sometimes one of turbulence, as many contracts end and developers shift around some of the biggest names out there. Of course, there are some who manage to stick with a company like Assassin's Creed developer/publisher Ubisoft for so long that they become synonymous with a franchise. For example, when AC Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt announced his departure, it was quite the shock for many in the community. Ubisoft has lost a lot of high-profile Assassin's Creed names in recent years, with the latest being one from the very beginning. Raphael Lacoste, the art director of the franchise, announced today that he is leaving the company. After "8 assassins, 16 years," Lacoste thanks Ubisoft for his time at the company. There's no mention of exactly why Lacoste is leaving, though he mentions it is time for another leap of faith. Based on his wording, it seems that Lacoste could just simply be looking for something new. That's not uncommon in the gaming industry, and it makes sense given the sheer amount of work Lacoste has put into the franchise. Lacoste has worked on several Assassin's Creed games, including the 2007 original, Revelations, Black Flag, Origins, and Valhalla, also serving as the overall series' art director since 2012. It'll be interesting to see where Lacoste goes from here, but the seemingly high turnover at Ubisoft is another concern altogether. Recently, a document at Ubisoft outlined concerns for employee retention, which among other factors, includes the company's continued misconduct allegations. Montreal itself is becoming a bit of a hot seat for competition too, meaning there's a lot of reasons for key talent to leave Ubisoft. According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, chief among these reasons are money, working-from-home issues, Canadian studios poaching talent, and the belief that Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, as well as the company at large, has not been held accountable for the past years' allegations. Money and Montreal are big factors in this battle of attrition (of sorts), as increased competition offering higher wages is a big incentive for anyone in Montreal to consider a new studio. Obviously, a lot remains up in the air. Ubisoft is no small name by any means, and in the AC franchise particularly, a lot is riding on Assassin's Creed Infinity's evolving world with multiple settings. Anything can happen in the gaming industry, so it'll be interesting to see where Lacoste goes next, what Ubisoft does to fix its reputation, and how much more of a hot seat Montreal becomes. Assassin's Creed Infinity is in development.
  11. AJ Tracey, Headie One and Pa Salieu lead the nominations for the 2021 GRM Daily Rated Awards, with four nominations each. The annual ceremony, which celebrates the biggest names in black music, returns virtually on September 16, and the 'West Ten' rapper, '18Hunna' hitmaker and UK Drill star have dominated this year's nominations. AJ and Headie will go head-to-head for Male Artist of the Year along with Abra Cadabra, Central Cee, Chip, Digga D, Fredo, Ghetts, Potter Payper, and Tion Wayne. While the pair both have a chance of winning Track of the Year for 'Ain't It Different', which also features Stormzy, as does Salieu, with 'My Family' featuring BackRoad Gee, the latter of which is also up for Video of the Year. Salieu, who has also received nods in the Breakthrough and Mixtape of the Year ('Send Them To Coventry') categories, will compete with AJ's 'Little More Love' and Headie's 'Princess Cuts' with Young T & Bugsey for the Video prize. Meanwhile, AJ's 'Flu Game' and Headie's 'EDNA' could take home the prestigious Album of the Year prize. Other LPs to receive a nod include Bugzy Malone's 'The Resurrection', D Block Europe's 'The Blueprint - Us Vs. Them', 'Money Can’t Buy Happiness' by Fredo, 'Conflict of Interest' by Ghetts, K Trap's 'Street Side Effects' Loski's 'Music, Trial and Trauma: A Drill Story', Nines' 'Crabs In A Bucket', and 'TYRON' by Slowthai. Elsewhere, Female Artist of the Year sees Bree Runway, Darkoo, ENNY, Ivorian Doll, Jorja Smith, Lady Leshurr, Ms Banks, Shaybo, Stefflon Don, and Midas The Jagaban nominated. GRM founder Post commented: "Excited to be back celebrating the best in UK Rap & Grime music. It’s been an incredible year in music, congratulations to all of this year’s nominees." The Rated Awards 2021 with YouTube Music will be streamed on Wednesday 16th September from 7pm BST, broadcast exclusively on GRM’s YouTube Channel. The nominees are: Album of the Year AJ Tracey – 'Flu Game' Bugzy Malone – 'The Resurrection' D Block Europe – 'The Blueprint- Us Vs. Them' Fredo – 'Money Can’t Buy Happiness' Ghetts – 'Conflict of Interest' Headie One – 'EDNA' K Trap – 'Street Side Effects' Loski – 'Music, Trial and Trauma: A Drill Story' Nines – 'Crabs In A Bucket' Slowthai - 'TYRON' ?Female Artist of the Year Bree Runway Darkoo ENNY Ivorian Doll Jorja Smith Lady Leshurr Ms Banks Shaybo Stefflon Don Midas The Jagaban Male Artist of the Year AJ Tracey Abra Cadabra Central Cee Chip Digga D Fredo Ghetts Headie One Potter Payper Tion Wayne Breakthrough of the Year Supported by 1Xtra ArrDee BackRoad Gee ENNY Central Cee French The Kid Jordan Shaybo SR Pa Salieu Wewantwraiths Personality of the Year Big Zuu Chunkz Harry Pinero Nella Rose Michael Dapaah Mo Gilligan Munya Chawawa Niko Omilana Yung Filly ZeZe Mills Track of the Year A1 & J1 – 'Latest Trends' Abra Cadabra – 'On Deck' Central Cee – 'Loading' Digga D – 'Woi' ENNY – 'Peng Black Girls' (ft Amia Brave) Headie One, Stormzy and AJ Tracey – 'Ain’t It Different' Nines – 'Airplane Mode' (ft NSG) Pa Salieu – 'My Family' (ft BackRoad Gee) Potter Payper – 'Purpose' Russ & Tion Wayne – 'Body' Video of the Year Aitch – 'Safe To Say' (Directed by KC Locke) AJ Tracey – 'Little More Love' (Directed by KC Locke) Ghetts – 'Skengman Mode' (ft. Stormzy) (Directed by Nathan James Tettey) Headie One – 'Princess Cuts' (ft. Young T & Bugsey) (Directed by Capone) Little Simz - 'Introvert' (Directed by Salomon Ligthelm) Meekz – 'Respect The Come Up' (Directed by KC Locke) Nines – 'Clout' (Directed by Charlie Di Placido) Pa Salieu – 'My Family' (ft. BackRoad Gee) (Directed by Femi Ladi) Russ & Tion Wayne – 'Body' (Directed by Wowa) Slowthai, Skepta – 'Cancelled' (Directed by THE REST) ?Mixtape of the Year Abra Cadabra – 'Product of My Environment' Central Cee – 'Wild West' Chip – 'Snakes and Ladders' Digga D – 'Made In The Pyrex' Giggs – 'Now Or Never' M Huncho & Nafe Smallz – 'DNA' NSG – 'Roots' Pa Salieu - 'Send Them To Coventry' Potter Payper – 'Training Day 3' Unknown T – 'Rise Above Hate' ?Radio DJ of the Year Charlie Sloth DJ Target Dotty Henrie Kwushue Kenny Allstar Robert Bruce Reece Parkinson Snoochie Shy Tiffany Calver Yinka & Shayna Marie ?Producer of the Year 169 5ive Beatz Chris Rich Ghosty Gotcha Hargo M1OnTheBeat P2J R14 TSB
  12. Kanye West has previewed a new song from his upcoming album, 'Donda'. The hip-hop legend's track 'No Child Left Behind' got its debut in a Beats by Dre advertisement for their Beats Studio Buds featuring athlete Sha’Carri Richardson. The brief clip was shown during an NBA finals game, and the lyrics include: “Never count on y’all, always count on God. “He’s done miracles on me.” The follow-up to 2019's 'Jesus Is King', which arrives on Friday (23.07.21), is also getting a listening event at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta that will be live-streamed on Apple Music on the eve of the album's release. The 'Stronger' hitmaker has also removed all of his posts on Instagram, leaving behind the advert and a series of snaps of him wearing a full-face mask and a chain featuring the names of his children North, eight, and Saint , five, and Chicago, three. According to social media star Justin Laboy, Kanye - who also has Psalm, two, with estranged wife Kim Kardashian West - allegedly played his upcoming LP 'to himself and basketball player Kevin Durant at the weekend. Justin tweeted: "Kanye played his new album for me & @KDTrey5 last night in Vegas. Man listen! The production is light years ahead of it’s time, and the bars sound like he’s broke & hungry trying to get signed again. Any artist who plan on dropping soon should just push it back #Respectfully (sic)" The internet personality also dubbed the record "album of the year", and spilled that fans will hear the LP this week. He added: "Kanye West album is really done. When it drops this week, we probably not going to listen to anything else for a while.. Let me go enjoy all the current artist I’m listening to until then. God bless #Respectfully (sic)" A Las Vegas listening party also took place with fans taking to social media to share pictures from the venue. Kanye was due to release 'Donda' last year. Named after the 44-year-old rapper's late mother, Donda West, the 'Bound 2' hitmaker had claimed the collection was set to be released on July 24, 2020, on social media. However, he later unveiled a different set of songs that are set to appear on the record, with his recent Travis Scott-featuring track, 'Wash Us In The Blood', no longer appearing on the 12-track LP.
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