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J. Cole Talks About His Visit to Ferguson and Shares His Thoughts on the Michael Brown Shooting (Video)



IT'S BEEN A LITTLE OVER A WEEK. In the days since Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a local police officer on August 9, a suburb of St. Louis has undergone a dramatic reconfiguration. For one thing, Ferguson, Missouri has been crackling with confrontation nearly nonstop, in a series of actions that alternate wildly between nonviolent protest and violent skirmishes between local authorities and civilians. 

For another, it's no longer just a suburb of St. Louis.

The death of Michael Brown and the subsequent fallout of trust between citizens, press, and law enforcement has drawn attention to Ferguson from people all over the world. One of those individuals is J.Cole, who recorded a tribute to Michael Brown not long after learning of his death. Cole took things a step further by making his way down to the Ferguson, bringing his Dreamville crew along for the trip. As soon as he entered the area along W. Florissant, Cole was surrounded by hundreds of people, who were elated to see that someone of note made time for them. This, of course, is at a time when the president is only now just announcing that the attorney general will be visiting Ferguson. It was before the governor could make it down, too.

During his visit, J. Cole spent hours walking among throngs of protestors, listening and sharing his thoughts. He made it very clear to us that he wasn’t there to do press, and refused to be interviewed before sparing a few minutes to speak candidly with Complex News about his thoughts on what’s taken place in Ferguson, as well as similar issues he’s long been aware of.

Check out the interview above, and keep it locked to Complex News for all the latest from the front lines of Ferguson.


First Look at the Magical World of ‘Wicked’ Starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo (Trailer)



The new trailer for the upcoming movie musical ‘Wicked’ has finally dropped, leaving fans buzzing with excitement. The film, which stars Ariana Grande as Glinda and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, is set to be released in two parts.

The trailer opens with a stunning shot of the Emerald City, the iconic location from the original ‘Wizard of Oz’ story. We then see a young Elphaba arriving at Shiz University, where she meets Glinda for the first time. The two characters couldn’t be more different – Elphaba is a shy, green-skinned girl whom her peers often ostracize, while Glinda is a bubbly, popular blonde who seems to have everything she could ever want.

As the trailer progresses, we see glimpses of the musical numbers that have made ‘Wicked’ such a beloved show on Broadway. The production design features vibrant colors and intricate costumes that bring the world of Oz to life.

The pairing of Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, both vocal powerhouses, is beautiful and will yield beautiful musical numbers. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Erivo mentioned that she and Grande were surprised at how well their voices complemented each other.

The trailer also gives us a glimpse of the other characters in the film, including Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero, Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morrible, and Jeff Goldblum as the Wizard of Oz.

‘Wicked’ part one is set to premiere later this year, with the second installment scheduled for November 2025.

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Ariana Grande – 34+35 (Remix) feat. Doja Cat & Megan Thee Stallion



Ariana Grande, Megan Thee Stallion, and Doja Cat have teamed up for a new remix of Grande’s Positions track 34+35.

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Film & Television

Why Did Michaela Coel Walk Away From a $1 Million Dollar Deal with Netflix?



Michaela Coel, the star of HBO’s hit series I May Destroy You had to decline Netflix’s $1 million offer after the streaming giant refused to allow her to retain “at least 5 percent of her rights” for the show.

Coel’s success in the U.S. is largely credited to Netflix. The streamer was the U.S. distributor of Coel’s acclaimed comedy series Chewing Gum. Netflix also housed a feature musical titled Been So Long in which Coel was the lead, as well as the drama series Black Earth Rising. Coel also starred in an Emmy-winning episode of Black Mirror, also distributed by Netflix. So, naturally, Coel’s history with the streaming platform made it the premier destination for her new project. After a short negotiation with a Netflix executive, however, Coel had to find a different home for I May Destroy You in order to maintain ownership of the series.

According to Vulture, Coel recalled that Netflix made her a $1 million offer for I May Destroy You in spring 2017 but she turned it down. Why? The streamer wouldn’t allow her to retain any percentage of the copyright. Coel even discontinued her relationship with CAA after it “tried to push her to take the deal”.

I May Destry You is based on Coel’s personal experience of being sexually assaulted during the making of Chewing Gum. At the age of 32, Coel is in full creative control of the series as its showrunner, director, star, and writer. She wrote all 12 episodes and co-directed nine, stars as a young writer Arabella struggling to come to terms and process a recent assault.

The series is now streaming on HBO.

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