Every year, Forbes puts out a ton of pop culture wealth lists and they're among my favorite things to read and write about. One of the best is annually curated by the champion of hip-hop wealth journalism, Forbes’s Zack O'Malley Greenburg. The 2013 version of the Hip-Hop Cash Kings list was released earlier this week, filled with a good deal of predictable selections, as well as a few surprises.
The following are his very well-put blurbs explaining how the top 20 have made their money, supplemented by my reactions to seeing how much money these people are making.
Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux Are Engaged: So much for that other story from last week saying they'd broken up. "Justin Theroux was a bundle of jangled nerves" on his 41st birthday, since "the only present he wanted was to hear Jennifer Aniston say yes to his proposal of marriage." The nervous Theroux "even swore to a friend she'd say no." The tabloids would have gone nuts if she'd said no. "Jen cried. The proposal was simple. He was surprised she said yes, but he is so happy." They celebrated at a Greenwich Village restaurant. In 2005 she told Vanity Fair "There's an amazing man that's wandering the streets right now who's the father of my children." She meant in the future, I think. In the following years "she kissed a string of frogs — ahem, John Mayer — and now friends are thrilled that the actress has finally found her prince at age 43." Because women are princesses until the day they die, duh. "Jen's had a really hard time with love. She hasn't always given herself the respect she deserves." The tabloids profitably hammering on her self-esteem and life choices probably didn't help. It's cute how they're like a passive-aggressive frenemy suddenly pretending to be happy for her!
Twelve days is almost two weeks, which is about half a month, months being sizable fractions of a year, and I have lived 24.978 of those. As much as it makes sense to quantify my time spent in Austin for South by Southwest as a series of days, flying back to NYC yesterday afternoon with barbecue-sauce-stained sweatpants, a twisted ankle, and a 1:1 yawn-to-exhale ratio solidifies the fact that this was a significant chunk of my life.
When I say I arrived in Austin without a single plan, I couldn't be telling more of the truth. For starters, I left New York City without a hotel reservation, and when I touched down in Texas, I still didn't have a hotel reservation. This disregard for what the future would hold truly set the tone for my stay in the city. While many a showcase, movie screening, interview, or party made its way to my schedule now and then, it was the things that randomly presented themselves that made this one of the more exhaustive and enjoyable journeys of my life. Yes, each day had its common occurrences — being aroused by a shocked housekeeper, a frantic, 10-minute morning search for my badge, my phone dying promptly at 1:15 a.m. — each also had a moment that stuck out, leading to days that did not run completely together.
Dan Silver: Is there an end-of-the-year award for Best Tagline to a film? If there is, I’d like to nominate the one from Bad Ass — “He’s Mean. He’s Angry. He’s Old.” Forget the underwhelming Machete, this appears to be the film the real-life badass, Danny Trejo, was born to make. What’s more, the film is a fictionalized account of actual events. There’s no keeping me away from this movie.
Rembert Browne: There is something extremely intriguing about a film starring three 60-somethings. It's sort of like It's Complicated but violent, not funny, not sexy in the slightest, and unless I missed something in the trailer, not about a love triangle. How sweet would it be if it were, though? You can't tell me a film about Danny Trejo and Charles S. Dutton fighting for the attention of Hellboy wouldn't be an instant classic. Easy Oscar.
By one metric, Coldplay’s latest album, Mylo Xyloto (released last week), is already a success. After one full week on the charts, it’s nabbed the No. 1 spot with 447,000 units sold. By another measure, though, it will be some time before we know how Mylo stacks up to the rest of the band’s catalog. And that measure is, of course, the manner and rate with which rappers mine Mylo tracks for samples. Historically, the mellifluous hooks and gentle harmonizing of the band has been a rich source for hip-hop. Jay-Z and Kanye took the practice a step further by actually hiring Chris Martin, for “Beach Chair” and "Homecoming,” respectively (As ‘Ye explained on “Big Brother,” he got burned on that one: “I told Jay I did a song with Coldplay / next thing I know he got a song with”). For a purer research field, though, we’re only looking at tracks that sampled pre-exisiting Coldplay jams (made possible thanks to the fine folks at WhoSampled). Herewith, a brief look back at the practice.
50 Cent’s output in the last few years has been remarkable: While still releasing major-label albums and occasionally acting in studio movies, he’s managed to fund, produce, star, and sometimes even write a steady string of nearly indistinguishable B-movie crime thrillers. But the really amazing thing? The quality of his co-stars. 50 isn't satisfied playing guns and robbers with guys whose best-known work was a two-episode arc on Party Of Five. Somehow, some way, he lands actors you not only recognize but also might actually like. Set Up, the latest in the 50 Cent assembly line of schlock, arrives on DVD today with both Ryan Philippe and Bruce Willis on its cover. How does 50 pull this off? Below, we look back on his recent filmography and speculate.
In keeping with Hollywood's plan to cast her in pretty much everything (of which we completely approve!), Emma Stone is negotiating to join Ruben Fleischer's Tales From the Gangster Squad as a "a sharp-tongued siren" in a love triangle" with police officer Ryan Gosling and mobster Sean Penn, who is 50. Grade: B- [Variety]