ÂŽ July 2018
Beyond the Music
Lenny Kravitz Memoirs From Europe
The Hottest New Trend In Fashion Swimlingerie
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Readers,
Hey, welcome back to Hollywood Weekly! We made it to another month. Its July and the heat is approaching so before we start we encourage all our readers to stay cool and out of harms way. The safety of our people, clients and citizens comes first before anything and the hot weather can make a lot of people do drastic things so please take precautions and devote your actions to something productive and meaningful this summer. With that said, we have much in stored for you this issue. We designed the theme based off Royalty, starting off with the very talented “Solveige Cirone” owner of “Cirone-Swim”. She has actually coined and trademarked the term “Swim-lingerie” herself which her designs are based on. With her rich education in Art she has become the “Alexander McQueen” of swim-wear and is up to a great start although only recently establishing her fashion line in 2016. Her fashion’s have turned heads all across America and Europe. We feature Sara Niemietz who talks about her European tour, showcasing her Germany memories and how she started with just a microphone and computer in her room to touring world-wide. Lenny Kravitz blesses his presence in this issue as well, with his cool, enigmatic words you can’t help but to fold your legs in a pretzel and learn so much when you read the words of this man. So much experience and so much to offer the world in insight this article is definitely one you have to take your time on and digest. We cover the BET awards with funny man and legend Jamie Foxx. We have details on the sale of Muhammad Ali’s home. This issue features a rich interview with Dr. Metzler who opens up about Marijuana. Last but not least we review a film starring, Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro, a film about the immigration bordercrisis in America.
Publisher/Editor IN CHIEF Prather Jackson VICE PRESIDENT Bernice Harris Michael D. Coxson MANAGING EDITOR Prather Jackson FEATURE EDITOR Fal Adams MARKETING & SALES Launy Rhem AFRICA OPERATIONS Egor Efiok Award Winning Filmmaker & Director General Of Callywood Studios +447932399204 / +2348063167990 ASIA OPERATION Joyce Penas Pilarsky HWM Asia Ambassador Email: email@example.com Bench Bello HWM Asia Operations firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile +639273895559 GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christian Patrick Lopez DISTRIBUTION MGR. Fal Adams SALES DEPARTMENT Andreas Williams Hector Richardson LIFE & STYLE DIRECTOR Niki Shadrow-Snyder FEATURED WRITER Alex A. Kecskes L. Rhem Tatiana Davidov WEB DESIGNER Prather Jackson
ART DIRECTOR Christian P Lopez
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Johnny Nunez Michael Kovac
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"The Birth of Venus" (tempera on panel) Sandro Botticelli (1445–1510) Via Uffizi Gallery
"No Gossip, Strictly Entertainment"
6. Love At First Sight With Swim Lingerie Leader Solveig Cirone By L. Rhem 18. Her Soul, Filled Cross-Country Tour Follows a 30-Country European Tour Sara Niemietz By Alex A Kecskes 22. Race God & Spreading Love Through Music Lenny Kravitz By Allison Kugel 28. Black Excellence Televised Bet Awards 2018 By Prather Jackson 32. A Michigan Home For Sale Muhammad Ali By Prather Jackson 38. The Politics Of Cannabis Dr. Metzler By Fal Adams 42. Hollywood Weekly Movie Critique Sicario 2: Day Of The Soldado By Kam Williams 46. My Carnival Cruise Experience The Tucker Family By Monica Tucker HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 5
Love At First Sight With Swimlingerie Leader Solveig Cirone By L. Rhem 6 â€¢ HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
"Pushing boundaries, captivating audiences, and inspiring designers with 5.5 million views"
Solveig Cirone Owner of Cirone Swim with models for La Madonna collection Getty Images ÂŠ HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY â€˘ 7
olveig Cirone embodies what it means to be the modern day Renaissance Lady; elegantly and effortlessly. Founder, president, and supermodel, Solveig is recognized globally now for taking her lifestyle and designs to a new level pushing boundaries, captivating audiences, and inspiring designers with 5.5 million views on fashion channel Milano with her first debute show at Miami Swim Week in 2015. Solveig created and coined the phrase swimlingerie back in 2014, where she created a Le Medie, South of France, and Milano lingerie that you could swim in using lace lycras, which has now matriculated to bravado velvet lycra and lambskin leather that embodies a femme nouveau new soft look for the millennial woman. The companies primary market is the Millennial generation buyer and the companies paradigm is to empower women through a healthy lifestyle, beauty values, and bold entrepreneurship. The woman who are leading millions today and tomorrow are the customers of Cirone Swimlingerie. Swimlingerie Collection Icon and a Philanthropist, Solveig stands up for equal rights for woman everywhere and shares her journey into art fashion with Hollywood Weekly. Hollywood Weekly: Tell me about your journey into art. Solveig Cirone: During a competition for photography, a Day in the Life of the Columbia Pacific, printed issue in the Oregonian, my photo was chosen to be in the Library of Congress. The picture was of a man working on an electrical pole surrounded by evergreen pine trees with the sun shin8 â€˘ HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
Solveig Cirone Owner of Cirone Swim Shot by Margarita Soulray
"The campaign’s paradigm is to empower women through a healthy lifestyle, beauty values, and bold entrepreneurship." HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 9
Solveig Cirone Owner of Cirone Swim Shot by Margarita Soulray
10 â€¢ HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
"Beauty on the outside is easy to find, but beauty on the inside and out is 1 in a million" HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY â€¢ 11
"Blue Moonlight" Solveig Cirone Owner of Cirone Swim Shot by Somer Anderson
"Nobility is an action" 12 â€¢ HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
ing through a chiascuro cloudy sky. I was awarded many leadership and art scholarships upon entering Brigham Young University and University of Utah. I enjoyed a tutelage in American History and Eastern Civilizations teaching history with an emphasis and lineage back to the Daughters of the American Revolution. I also, taught English on a Campbellian Journey to Suzhou, China and coming home with a plentiful boon and desire for art and entrepreneurship. I remember my first visit to the Metropolian Museum of Art, seeing the Tiffany’s mosaic glass, Monet’s Water Lilly Garden in Giverny, France, and falling in love with Impressionist artists like Paul Signac, Winslow Homer, Degas, and Van Gough. I was transfixed and walked over to the Degas Ballerina statue and touched her toulling tutu. Something came over me and I can’t describe it but its how I feel when my vision comes alive in my designs, walks down the runway, and is worn by woman. In 2014, while modeling on the LA Fashion Runways, I met New York Fashion Times, Peter Ronan, in which, later he introduced me to Connie Borja of LA Swim Week and Erik Rosette with Art Hearts Fashion at Miami Swim Week. Ultimately, the goal is haute couture and legacy pieces that mimic art and poetry while displayed on the female body. Initially, I was interested in haute couture but I chose swimlingerie because it was less fabric and I thought it would be a great way to start in the fashion industry.
to reflect her inner and outer Goddess by creating wraps representing Venus in Roman Mythology. Botticelli’s Birth of Venus depicts the perfect paragon image of a naked Goddess Venus, birthed by the sea standing in a shell blown to the shore by the God Zephyr and Horae, Goddess of seasons, is ready to cloth her on the shore. Venus is the perfect paragon, full of pulchritude, representing Cirone Swimlingerie birth into the fashion industry! La Madonna Collection, was my debut for Miami Swim Week in 2016 to reference Italy and the Holy Mother in Catholicism with bold wet lycra in red, black, gold, silver, and nude mesh and cuts that were halter tops and scrunchy cheeky bottoms with sheer designs that had swarvoski embellishments. The 2017 collection was inspired from Van Gogh Starry Night using bravado velvet lycra in meridian blue, navy blue, black, silver, and white with grommets and lattice design on back and chest to accentuate the cleavage and lady parts.
HW: What were your first designs like? SC: The first collection in 2015 was created to represent ethereal Goddess fashion with magical whimsical wraps that fell off the hips in rose gold, blue gold, and lace materials on Italian lycra. I would put lace, Swarovski, and hardware on by hand to create my prototypes and it was a trial and error in finding the right seamstress and manufacturer. This is when I came up with the nonsensical word, swimlingerie. The main objective was to create luxury swimlingerie pieces that could be worn for poolside glamour with your high heels for women to feel sexy, bold, and confident either in public or private with their inamorato or significant other. The swimlingerie have always been styled around romance and art. My first collection even harkens back to the MET and the Renaissance period. I always return to a woman’s body and a desire
HW: What can you tell us about the unveiling of your upcoming collection? SC: The designs for 2018 are based around "La Vie En Rose" and seeing life through rose colored glasses. The collection will have blush pink tones with Champagne gold’s and silvers on soft two weigh stretch lambskin lycra with the embellishments of Swarovski, lace, and hardware. This year, Cirone will bring back the "frong" or the front thong as Cosmo called it, the high hip, cheeky bottom, and not to exclude the riske’ under cleavage.
HW: How do you manage and prepare for a production? SC: Always expect something to go wrong and be prepared when producing. During production, its wise, to be ready for anything to go wrong or right. albeit, a pessimist is rarely disappointed. In this case, a cutlet falls out on stage, your sister slaps your tuchis in front of everyone, or a model jumps in the front of the runway are not exceptions and something to roll with. Nonetheless, it was a fabulous show and entertaining.
HW: What does it mean to you to be a successful female entrepreneur and philanthropists? SC: All success is cyclical. When good fortune comes to me I pay it forward in my community outreach and putting it back into my designs so the momentum continues. A laureate crown is my symbol for Cirone Swim. It is an award that evHOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 13
ery woman can earn by noble deeds and actions. Nobility is an action not necessarily born into as Americans. Noblesse oblige; meaning the noble are obliged to be noble. I first began representing nobility by actions as a Miss Loyalty Day Princess in my small hometown, I went on to be Mrs. Utah Globe 2008, and a Mrs. Italy Multiverse 2015 representing my fathers lineage as American-Italian. My family has always taught me that it is by ones fruit that you know them. HW: What have you done on behalf of Women’s Empowerment? SC: I recognize myself as a Shero; a woman who stands up for women’s rights in a matriarchal society. Some of my philanthropy efforts include National Ability Center, Foster Care Programs, Family First Programs, Utah Youth Village, Starfish organization, AIDS Awareness, Cancer Society, and Wagner’s Granulomatous Research; to name a few. As Miss Multiverse Italy, it was a pleasure to see the warm smiling faces of children in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at the Christos De Ninos Orphanage and how the computers donated to their Star Fish Organization was benefiting their education. HW: Describe to me your golden circle of women that influence you and the power of personal manifestation. SC: This golden circle of women are powerful for my inspirations. They offer a legacy that I have learned from. Like Eleanor Roosevelt who said, "The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams." Known for smoking a pipe and speaking politics and Emily Dickenson, the lady in white, mellifluous poetry, to the first female architect, Zaha Hadid, to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize who created the Adu Dabi Performing Arts Center for her incredible fluid lines, to Coco Chanel and her resilience to overcome and manifest her timeless designs and Marie Antoinette during the Louie the Sixteenth Century for her daring and bold style for the time. These super leaders in design are among my golden circle board room, perse. When I meditate a decision or path, I like to think what these women would of done or said. I recommend all ladies to create a golden circle of Sheros in history and today that they would like to emulate for manifesting success.
14 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
HW: What are some of your other interests and hobbies outside of Swimlingerie? SC: Beauty and nostalgia has been a phrase given to me for my love of mountains and lifestyle. I enjoy summiting mountains, skiing, and randonnée, alpine backcountry skiing. I’ve been skiing since I was four. I learned how to ski when I was learning how to walk. This is part of the Norweigan in me. I live across the street from a ski lift in Park City, Utah. After 2015 swim show, I decompressed and flew to Tanzania to Kilimanjaro and summated 19,341 feet with WWTrekking along the Umbwe Route and met the KKC Killimijaro Kids Community; a self sustaining orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania. Also, while on my China teaching sabbatical, I went to Everest Base Camp on the Tibetan Side at 18,050 ft. I live by the words of Edward Abbey; "keep climbing the mountains and explore the forest." When your at the top, your looking for raison de’ etre or a reason for existence and answering existentialists questions like; why am I here? The best quality of life, for me is life elevated and breathing the Rocky Mountain Air of the Northwest with your family and loved ones. I also enjoy dance with Ballet West, reading literature, and playing the piano. HW: Where is your collection currently available? SC: On our website www.cironeswim.com and instagram promo codes IG: cironeswimlingerie_ Limited Edition pieces can also be found at Ivan Bitton House of Style on Hollywood, Blvd. for celebrities participating in special events, fashion shoots, or red carpets. We carry both a luxury resort line and a diffused line without Swarovski crystal and can do made-to-order sizes. In the future, opening a brick and mortar in; Milan, Italy, Melrose, LA or in New York City. HW Anything you want buyers to keep in mind while experiencing Cirone Swimlingerie Collection? SC: For me, being a woman in this millennial generation means looking forward towards progression and a new collective consciousness by being secure with who you are and confident in your own skin. I want woman to feel empowered by the Cirone Brand. Beauty may catch attention, but ultimately character catches the heart. For more information e-mail: email@example.com
Solveig Cirone Owner of Cirone Swim Shot by Somer anderson
"All success is clinical." HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY â€¢ 15
Photos from Solveig’s La Madonna Collectiom
Solveig is wearing Besse Moi wrapped in swim lingerie half moon cutout one piece in red mesh and fire swarovski From Cirone’s L’Madonna Collection. Available at Cironeswim.com and Ivan Vitton House on Hollywood Boulevard. "Besse Moi" Red swimsuit with wrap Shot by Brian Hayes
Getty Images© 16 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
"I want women to feel empowered by the Cirone brand."
Getty Images© HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 17
Sara Niemietz Photo by Julien Garros Grey
Her Soul-Filled Cross-Country Tour Follows a 30-Country European Tour Sara Niemietz By Alex A. Kecskes 18 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
" I’ve always had a love of music. It was something I think I was born with."
decade ago, Chicago-native Sara Niemietz moved to California in search of creative opportunities. Since then, she has quickly risen to mass stardom, performing for international audiences in venues large and small. She has also acted and/or performed in a variety of film and TV venues, released four albums, and appeared in Times Square before a crowd of 50,000. In 2016, Niemietz played to a huge audience in Radio City Music Hall with Postmodern Jukebox. Last July, she released her Travel Light album, a soul-filled repertoire of jazzy precision, R & B grooves, and inspirational ballads. Niemietz delivers her beautifully intoned songs with a hint of raw emotion reminiscent of Ella Fitzgerald and Janis Joplin. A number of Travel Light songs were born while she was on tour in Europe and North America with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. Niemietz’s heartfelt songs and highly interactive approach to social media have garnered over nineteen million views and over a hundred fourteen thousand followers and subscribers across various new media platforms. During her European tour, she performed in over thirty countries. Her current 2018 tour crisscrosses America with venues large and small from LA and San Francisco to Orlando. Hollywood Weekly: Thank you for taking the time for this interview. There’s something in every artist that initially drives them to succeed creatively. What drove you to become a recording artist? Sara Niemietz: I’ve always had a love of music. It was something I think I was born with. It was instilled and encouraged from a young age. My dad sang in rock n’ roll bands in Chicago and my mom sang in the choir at church. So I grew up surrounded by music. We would sing on road trips and on the way to daycare. It always just seemed like a natural part of my life. The big aha moment was when I went to see BJ Thomas with my parents. It was my first concert. Before I got there, I had memorized most of his songs. When we arrived, I was singing along in the front row along with him. He saw me and invited me to come on stage with him. That was a big moment for me, singing on stage in front of all those people.
SN: Good question. Around ten years ago, I really fell in love with the great American songbook. The first music I was exposed to came out in the 60s and 70s, the Oldies, those singer-songwriters. The Rock of that era was what I grew up loving initially—the Beatles and Joni Mitchell. Then when my family and I moved to LA, there were different jazz clubs you could sit in with, but you had to know this music. I realized that you could connect with more musicians, get up and sing, and be a part of that dialog. I developed a great love for how well written the music was and just this idea of standards. You could go anywhere, recall a song, and people would just improvise. I really fell in love with jazz. So that started to influence me. I’ve also started writing a lot in the last ten years, to fuse together all these different influences. HW: How do you create a new song? and how do you then refine it? SN: There are a number of different processes. Usually, I’ll start an idea on my own, sitting in front of a microphone with my computer. I’ll start tracking vocal ideas, parts, and harmonies, then I’ll start singing to that. Or sometimes, I’ll sit down with a guitar and just start singing. But usually, it comes from the melody, with the lyrics along with it or right behind it. Sometimes I‘ll work with W.G. Snuffy Walden to write a song. We’ve been working together for so long, we’ve developed this great shorthand of communicating. But usually it starts with me singing, and the words will follow and I’ll just chase it. and then Sara Niemietz in Germany tour Photo by Dani Lehmann
Hollywood Weekly: Some recording artists retain a certain style; others reinvent themselves over time. How has your singing style evolved over the last decade? HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 19
Sara Niemietz in Germany tour Photo by Dani Lehmann
" When we play standing room venues, the energy is crazy and raucous. " 20 â€¢ HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
I’m all about drafts and rewrites to keep honing it until it goes along. HW: What recording artist influenced you the most growing up and in the early days of your career? SN: Janis Joplin was a really big influence. Paul Simon was another. I loved his writing and his consistent strength. He’s so melodic. I was deep into his poetry and the amount of output he’s had over the years. I’m sad that he just had his farewell tour. Joni Mitchell was another influence. and I love Ella Fitzgerald and Tom Waits. HW: During two European tours, you performed in over thirty countries. How are European audiences different from their American counterparts? SN: That’s a tough one. It kind of varies from country to country. When we were touring Europe with Postmodern Jukebox, it was a different feel because they hadn’t really toured all that much in Europe. So it was still kind of new to European audiences. The American audiences are more familiar with American music, and while they love it, it’s not such a novelty. When we play standing room venues, the energy is crazy and raucous. Theater venues, on the other hand, feel more reserved. But when we talk to theatergoers afterward, they love it. They say they were feeling it but just couldn’t yell it out. European audiences really appreciate jazz. HW: Your social media presence has drawn over nineteen million views. How has social media influenced your selection of songs and how you perform? SN: It’s been really big. I started my YouTube channel about ten or fifteen years ago. It was such a new platform and I was just recording videos in my living room—which I called The Living Room Series. The immediacy that social media gave us and still does is so cool. You can put something out there and get that instant feedback—how they feel and how the music resonates with them. It just gets you in front of so many more people than was previously possible. I still talk to people online today, people I met fifteen years ago on YouTube. It’s just really cool to be able to interact with fans, even internationally with translation capabilities. You can thank people for listening and you can share your music with people who would not have heard it without a major label.
HW: How do you like acting in films and TV? Can you talk about your favorite acting role? SN: I love it. My initial dream was always to be a singer, but I got involved in acting classes as a kid in Chicago. I really fell in love with acting and auditioned for Carol Burnette’s play, "Hollywood Arms." I landed that role and we mounted it in Chicago and then it went to Broadway. So for me, as a kid, it was an amazing experience. It was all so new to me and I got to work with Carol and Hal Prince. These veterans were so patient and willing to share their expertise. I’ve always been really grateful for that. HW: You sang in the film "Forever My Girl." What was that like? SN: That was great. The people who worked on the music for that had worked with Snuffy, knew about my singing, and invited me to sing a song for it. It was in the studio and I got to see how a song ends up in a movie. HW: Your 2018 schedule is packed, taking you from L.A. to Orlando and many states in between. When do you have time to unwind? and what do you do to relax? SN: I love reading. I’ve been on a Russian literature kick this year. I read a lot of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and others. I also enjoy just hanging out with my family and friends. and writing new music, which seems like work but it’s actually very relaxing. HW: Do you work out to stay in such good shape? SN: I don’t. I should but I carry a lot of guitars (laughs). Sara Niemietz in Germany tour Photo by Dani Lehmann
HW: What was it like playing in Radio City Music Hall with Postmodern Jukebox? SN: Oh, that was incredible! It was so grand. Looking up and seeing three or four different tiers of the audience in their seats was amazing. We were sold out or close to it. It was great to be with PMJ. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 21
"I knew I was black; but I knew that wasn’t all I was."
Lenny Kravitz Photo By MathieuBitton©2017
Race, God and Spreading Love Through Music Lenny Kravitz By Allison Kugel 22 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
wenty-nine years after releasing his debut album, Lenny Kravitz is still letting love rule, but with an eye towards societal strife that continues to go unchecked. The multi-Grammy award winning musician brings forth a conscious body of work with Raise Vibration, his eleventh studio album, out September 7th. The first single off the Raise Vibration album, It’s Enough, is a battle cry against corporate greed, political corruption and racism. Kravitz switches gears with his follow up single, Low, exploring the perils of his near-mythical sensuality with intonations alluding to his past intimate relationships. For Lenny Kravitz, the art of the story is paramount, while pop music trends are immaterial. He tells stories through his writing, vocals, & the multitude of instruments he has mastered over the years. Musically, Raise Vibration is an eclectic blend of the kind of stylistic rock n’ roll-funk sound that Kravitz is known for, with subtle nods to vintage R&B & choruses that sway towards pop appeal. His music puts you in a trance-like groove & defies all genre. Lenny Kravitz, the man, is a veritable roadmap of his past experiences. From making his way in an industry that doesn’t always value individuality, to making his way in a world that begged to define & categorize him by race & ethnicity in his formative years, he wears his memories on his sleeve & they inform much of his artistic expression. Our conversation surprised me as it took a more intimate turn. He & I delved into matters of spirituality, racial identity, family & the rituals that aide him in creating his eclectic sound. We were very much on the same page as he shared his feelings about everything from racism & societal injustice to his personal spiritual journey, his family & his music. Allison Kugel: You’ve said you were born to make music. Can you share your earliest memory where you became aware that music was going to be your life? Lenny Kravitz: For me the pivotal moment was going to see The Jackson 5, live at Madison Square Garden, when I was six years old. I was in the first grade. I had already been intently lis-
tening to their record. But I went to the show, & the next morning that was it! I was completely sold. I knew that’s what I wanted to do. AK: What was it about The Jackson 5 that resonated with you? LK: Number one was the music. The music was incredible. The music that was made by these kids was not elementary, it wasn’t bubble gum as they used to say back then about young artists. This was very sophisticated, high-level music with the best musicians, the best producers, & [Michael] was one of the best singers who ever lived & who ever will live. The level of interpretation & feeling & vocal range… it was a perfect storm for me, the way everything came together. On top of the music, the presentation & the showmanship were top level & soulful, & these were people that I could identify with. They looked like me. I had the same hair… there were so many things that came together in my mind. AK: It’s interesting to hear you say that. My son is half Jewish & half Jamaican, & he does the same thing. He tends to gravitate towards people he sees on television, in film, & with music, who have his skin tone & his hair. LK: Yup! I have the same background, except I’m Jewish & Bahamian. AK: When & where do you feel most creative & musical? LK: It could be anywhere, but it’s in the studio, so wherever that may be. My studio is in the Bahamas. It’s my favorite place to work; it’s my workshop. When I’m in the studio & I’ve got all my equipment & all my instruments, & everything is set up, that’s the magical place for me. It’s where I’m comfortable & where I can flow. When I’m inspired & in that flow, I can move. I jump around from instrument to instrument, & it’s wonderful. AK: You are such a true musician in every sense of the word. Aside from singing, you play several instruments, & you write & produce. When you record your music, is it all you doing everything in the studio? Are you recording all of the instrumentals in addition HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 23
"Its alw ays been w express myself t ithin me to ruthfull y. "
Lenny K ravitz Photo By Mathieu Bitto
24 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
to doing your vocals & producing? LK: Yes, I start on drums normally & then I go to a guitar, a bass, another guitar, keyboard, percussion… I keep layering as though I was painting, until my picture is complete. AK: Your upcoming album is called Raise Vibration & the first single, It’s Enough, is a call-to-action anthem about political corruption & social & racial injustice. Was writing It’s Enough a form of therapy for you, & a way of turning hopelessness into empowerment? For example, I live part of the year in Florida, not too far from Parkland. When the Parkland school shooting happened, I went into a depression where I was feeling helpless as a parent. Then I thought, "I’m a writer. I can contribute something by writing a piece about this." Was it a similar process for you? LK: I react to the world. Just as you say you did, I have a reaction. I actually recorded the song twice. I was trying to find the direction for the record. The way the song started, the first version of It’s Enough was a full-on guitar, bass, drum, punk rock song. It had an angry tone to it, because that felt like the proper reaction. & then I thought about it & ended up changing it & finding this groove, which is the polar opposite of what it started out as. I found that by being calm & by being centered & by being quiet, it was more effective. It brought out a whole new feeling in the song, & I think it enables the listener to hear the lyrics even better.
AK: & you feel it brings more of a positive energy, as opposed to the original version, which would have brought forth anger. LK: Absolutely. I’m all about positive energy. I’m stating the facts, but in the end, I always take an optimistic & positive tone that, "People, we can do this!" We can do it. It’s just a matter of waking up. AK: What does the title of your album, Raise Vibration, mean to you? & how do you raise your vibration? Do you meditate? Do you Pray? LK: It means exactly that; waking up. I meditate, I pray, I try to be still, I try to be quiet… & listen. It means having the desire to learn, to improve, & to face my faults & learn from them. I’m always looking to go higher. & taking as much ego out of myself as possible. AK: How do you define God? LK: I believe that God is my creator, our creator. Whether we realize it or not, I believe we are all created by the same God. I believe we are all one creation, we are all connected, & I believe that God is the ultimate source of love & all we are looking for. AK: Do you consider yourself an activist? LK: That’s a difficult one. I use my music to express myself, & if it inspires others then that’s a beautiful thing. I don’t know that I’m initially doing it for any other reason than to express myself. But I do see myself going more in that direction where you could call it that. AK: I ask because when I listened to It’s Enough, your first single off this new album, I could tell you’re at a point in your life, & in your career, where you have no problem stating your opinions on societal issues. LK: Right, but for instance, from my first album, Let Love Rule up until now, I haven’t had that problem. It’s always been within me to express myself truthfully. AK: I always say that when I enter a room, or wherever I may be, that I never walk alone be-
cause I can feel the presence of God beside me, as well as my great grandparents, my grandparents, my parents, siblings & my son. I walk into a space with the energy of those who made me who I am, walking beside me. When you enter a space, who walks beside you? LK: God is with me at all times which I am always aware of. & the energy of my mother, of my grandmother, of my grandfather. My daughter (actress, Zoe Kravitz), who is here with me on this earth, is always with me. & like you said, knowing that & feeling that, & knowing that spirit is far superior to anything here. The physical presence is wonderful, & something that we require & crave as human beings. We’re spiritual beings living a physical experience, but as you say, you recognize that you have these people with you & it just shows how strong spirit is & how strong energy is. My mother’s (the late actress, Roxie Roker) been gone for twenty plus years, & I can still feel her every day. I can still sense her presence because the energy she left is so powerful. That’s an awesome thing. AK: Your music really transcends any one genre. It’s a blend of rock, punk, blues, soul, pop; it’s really everything. You can’t categorize your music. & I remember seeing a clip of you, I believe it was on Oprah’s Master Class, where you tell the story of sitting in a classroom as a young boy & you didn’t know which box to check off on a piece of paper asking you to identify your race. Everyone’s life has a theme, & that theme repeats itself over & over again because it’s tied to something we’re supposed to learn while we’re here. In your case it seems to be this ongoing theme where people want to put you in a box & label you, & you railing against that. LK: People love a box (laughs)! & they want to put you right in it, so they can easily define, for their own comfort, what you are. I’ve been fighting against that from day one in my life, & in my musical life. Like with radio stations, this one only plays this, & that one only plays that. This fits here, & that fits there, & you don’t fit here. It’s like, "Shit! That’s not what art is about!" But, unfortunately, that’s not what the business is, which is very frustrating. Going back to that time in HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 25
school, I knew I was black, but I knew that wasn’t all I was. I knew I was also Russian Jewish & I knew that my great grandmother was full blooded Cherokee Indian. My mother always taught me, "Yes, you’re black, but you’re just as much this & you’re just as much that, & you don’t discount that." If you’re mixed, like me & like your son, you don’t discount one of your parents. You’re just as much one as the other. But, what my mother did say to me when I was a child that I think was very smart, & I didn’t realize it until I got older, was, "Even though you’re mixed, society only wants to see you as black." I didn’t understand that at age seven. AK: Did you feel diminished by it, at that time, at age seven? LK: I remember her saying it, but I don’t remember exactly how I felt when she said it. From what I recall, I remember thinking, "What does that mean?" Of course, as I grew & went through life, I understood what that meant. People aren’t going to see all the complexities & the differences. People are going to see what they see, & that is the color of your skin. Not all people, but a lot of people. That was a very good lesson once it kicked in. I was like, "Okay, people don’t see everything for what it is." People see what they want to see. They judge it how they want to judge it, based upon their pre-conceived ideas of what that is. AK: It’s a tough conversation to have with a child. LK: But kids know from what I see are not tripping on the race thing like generations before, are they? AK: There is a difference from generations ago, & my son has several multiracial friends. Recently, he said, "Mom, what does black mean? My skin is brown." Part of my response in explaining it was that "black" is a political term & a societal designation, as is "white." Of course, that will also make more sense as he gets older. LK: You have to explain to kids people’s fucked up attitudes about race. That’s really what you’re doing. You have to break down the judgment & short sightedness, & peoples’ hang ups, & the his26 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
tory of people screwing over other people because they were different. AK: Speaking of kids, how would your daughter Zoe describe you, both as a man & as an artist? LK: Oh wow! We’re very, very close. I think she would say that I have respect & integrity, & love in my heart. I think as a musician, she respects what I do. She’s grown up around it. She grew up seeing it her whole life. This is hard because If I say, "She thinks I’m amazing," then it sounds like I’m complimenting myself. She respects the craft, what it takes & what I put into it, which is everything. AK: On September 7th, the day the new album, Raise Vibration, is released, what are those days like for you, when a new album drops? LK: When I’m finished with an album, I’m at that place where I let go & I’m excited that I’m finished. It’s always exciting getting a new project out. I hope the people who enjoy my music will get something beautiful from it & will relate to it. As far as the rest, in terms of how well it does, sales & all of that, that’s all great, but the main thing for me is that I expressed myself authentically to who I am, who I was at that moment in time, & that it represents me well. That to me is everything. That’s a success. Photo Credits: Mathieu Bitton, Mark Seliger 3X Platinum Lenny Kravitz GREATEST HITS album is now available on vinyl as a 2 LP set via Virgin/Ume at uDiscoverMusic. His 11th studio album Raise Vibration is set for release September 7th via BMG. Pre-order at LennyKravitz.com The album’s debut track, It’s Enough, is available to stream at iTunes. Allison Kugel is a syndicated entertainment & pop culture journalist, & author of the book, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged & on the record. Follow her on Instagram @theallisonkugel & visit AllisonKugel.com.
Lenny Kravitz ©2017
"I keep layering as though I was pa inting, until my p i c t u re is comp lete" HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 27
Mr. “Off Script“Jamie Foxx ©BET PRESS
Black Excellence Televised Bet Awards 2018 By Prather Jackson
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OS ANGELES, CA (June 25, 2018) - Last night, BET Networks recognized an exceptional lineup of artists, entertainers, cultural provocateurs and inspiring humanitarians across over 19 categories at the 18th Annual BET Awards. The ceremony, hosted by Academy and Grammy-award winner, Jamie Foxx, aired live from the Microsoft Theater at L.A. LIVE on Sunday, June 24, 2018. This year’s broadcast celebrates 18 years of impactful performances from the hottest names in the business and appearances from entertainment’s most talked-about players. More than ever, the BET Awards continues to tackle and support culturally and socially relevant narratives and conversations, setting the standard for one of the most intently unconventional, news-provoking and talked-about broadcasts. “BET AWARDS 18” Show Highlights Include: Host Jamie Foxx opened the show with a witty Wakanda-themed banter focused on the film’s star Michael B. Jordan who was seated front-row. Jamie then lured Jordan on stage to recite a profound passage about honor and sacrifice from the record-breaking blockbuster. Critically acclaimed lyricist, conscientious hip hop artist and record producer, J. Cole, performed a medley of “Friends” with Daniel Caesar and Wale. Later, Miguel joined the stage for a soulful and resounding version of “Come Through and Chill.” Atlanta trap trio Migos performed hits “Walk It Talk It” and “Stir Fry,” hyping the crowd and bringing them to their feet. They also took home the BET Award for “Best Group” later in the show. Jamie Foxx went off-script to pay tribute to fellow artist Childish Gambino, imitating the dance style featured in his iconic hit “This is America,” while also hailing Glover as a songwriter, philanthropist, movie star, and overall badass. Foxx then called up him on stage for an impromptu performance of the track. Nicki Minaj took over the BET stage once again with a fierce version of her current single, “Chun Li.” She later re-appeared alongside 2 Chainz and Big Sean as featured artists on YG’s performance of “Big Bank.” A star-studded performance was delivered
for this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Anita Baker. Marsha Ambrosius, Ledisi, and Yolanda Adams blew the house down with their riveting renditions of Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture,” ”Sweet Love,” and “You Bring Me Joy,” respectively. The crowd-raising tribute had Ms. Baker visibly in tears and overwhelmed with emotion. For the first time, BET honored six Humanitarian Heroes, individuals who have done extraordinary things in some of the most disheartening and trying of situations. Presented by John Legend, those honored included James Shaw Jr. (disarmed Waffle House shooter), Naomi Wadler (11 year-old speaker at March For Our Lives), Mamoudou Gassama (Climbed outside of building to save dangling 4 year-old), Justin Blackman (only student to walk out of his High School on National Student Walk-Out Day), Shaun King (journalist who has been instrumental in covering untold stories in the black community), Anthony Borges (Parkland Victim/Hero who threw himself in line of fire - shot five times). Meek Mill delivered a powerful performance of his first new song since being released from prison, “Stay Woke,” addressing the abhorrent inequalities in the criminal justice system, and included vivid imagery of police violence and mass incarceration. The rapper also wore a sweatshirt that honored late rappers XXXTentacion and Jimmy Wopo on stage. Janelle Monae gave a strong, empowering performance of “Django Jane” and “I Like That” featuring high-energy choreography by an army of female dancers. Snoop Dogg transformed the house of the Microsoft Theater into a house party, as the crowd rapped the lyrics to a medley of the iconic rapper’s biggest hits, including “Who Am I (What’s My Name),” “The Next Episode,” and “Sunrise” with Sly Piper. He finished the performance with an uplifting rendition of “You” in collaboration with gospel star Tye Tribbett to close out the show. Presenters included the entertainment industry’s top black actors, artists, and entrepreneurs including Michael B. Jordan, Kevin Hart, T.I., L.L. Cool J, Bobby Brown, Tyra Banks, Tyler Perry and Questlove. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 29
In addition to all of these must-see moments, Best Movie Award the complete list of the “BET Awards” 2018 Black Panther winners is: Sportswoman of the Year Award Best Female R&B / Pop Artist Award Serena Williams Beyonce Sportsman of the Year Award Best Male R&B / Pop Artist Award LeBron James Bruno Mars Album of the Year Award Best Group Award DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar Migos BET Her Award Best Collaboration Award Mary J. Blige - Strength of a Woman DJ Khaled feat. Rihanna & Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Award Bryson Tiller - Wild Thoughts Cardi B - Bodak Yellow Best Male Hip Hop Artist Award Kendrick Lamar Best Female Hip Hop Artist Award Cardi B Video of the Year Award Drake - God’s Plan Video Director of the Year Award Ava Duvernay Best New Artist Award SZA Dr. Bobby Jones Best Gospel/Inspirational Award Lecrae feat. Tori Kelly - I’ll Find You The Best International Act Award Davido (Nigeria) Best Actress Award Tiffany Haddish Best Actor Award Chadwick Boseman Young Stars Award Yara Shahidi 30 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
Charming Michael B Jordan ©BET PRESS
J.cole performing his heart out ©BET PRESS
Quavo rap favorite from the group Migos ©BET PRESS
Nicki Minaj Ms. Chun Li ©BET PRESS
Meek Mill paying tribute to Recording Artist XXXTENTACION ©BET PRESS
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"His charm was what won people over."
A Michigan Home For Sale Muhammad Ali By Prather Jackson
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n 1975, almost ten years before Muhammad Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he bought an 81-acre property in Berrien Springs, Michigan, insulated from city noise and crowds by the St. Joseph River which surrounds the lush green fields. It was where he spent his summers and a portion of his retirement years until his Parkinson’s became more advanced. According to boxing experts, Ali was on the wrong end of over 200,000 punches during his career, contributing to the Parkinson’s. In 2006, he and his wife Lonnie, moved to Arizona. He succumbed to the disease in 2016 and his widow is now selling the St. Joseph River property. Born as Cassius Clay, he grew up in Louisville, Kentucky during the 1950’s Jim Crow era where African Americans had few opportunities. The family was not destitute, but fairly middle class within Louisville’s black community. A twist of fate came when he was 12-years-old that changed his life forever when he hurriedly parked his bike and ran inside a building for protection from a rainstorm. When he came out, his bike had been stolen. He found a policeman to tell and said he wanted to fight the thief. The policeman asked him if he knew how to fight, and Cassius realized
he didn’t. The policeman said, “Come with me.” He introduced Cassius to a police-sponsored youth boxing club where he was amazed to see blacks and whites fighting each other as though color segregation didn’t matter. That’s when he saw his future which led to Olympic Gold and one of the all-time boxing champions. Ali was known for being verbose as much as his boxing skill, but his charm was what won people over. He loved attention and loved people and found boxing to fill all his needs. He did what he loved and became one of the most important athletes of the 20th century. The farm in southwestern Michigan, near Indiana, was the place where he and his family could relax away from the fame. The path of the river, enclosing three sides of the property, ensured privacy from neighbors and onlookers as did the gated entry. By 1975, Ali could afford to design it exactly the way he wanted and he added buildings customized to his needs which also have universal appeal. Structures on the property include the main house, carriage house, pool, gym, garages, barns and office epicenter. The elaborate gym has the boxing ring in the center, exercise equipment, a steam room, baths, massage room, laundry and spa
tub. A few steps outside the gym’s French doors is a fullsize basketball court. Next door to the gym is the office epicenter with his private office, conference area, private bath, mail room, vault, kitchen, loading dock and several other offices and a basement. There are two separate climate-controlled garages, each accommodating over five cars, RVs and space for equipment. The two houses, main house and carriage house for guests, are on either side of the pool terrace, which includes a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen, bath house, sound system and pergola. The main house has four bedrooms, living and family rooms and kitchen with large pantry and three-car, climate-controlled garage. The carriage guest house also has a sunroom and deck overlooking the pond and fountain by the river. Grounds are lushly landscaped with firepit and a waterfall rock garden. Muhammad Ali’s pastoral Michigan home with every amenity to make a world champion boxer happy in his time off, is now for sale at a very specific price. The last two numbers represent Ali’s 37 career knockouts $2,895,037. The listing agent is Tim Mitchell of Cressy & Everett Real Estate, Dowagiac, Michigan. HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 33
elaborate gym has the boxing ring in the center "
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Inside Look at Muhammad Ali’s home
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For more information, photos or general inquiry on the sale of Muhammad Ali’s home please visit Top TopTenRealEstateDeals.com (click if viewing digitally).
"Grounds are lushly landscaped." 36 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
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Dr. Metzler© Shot by Fal Adams
The Politics of Cannabis Dr. Metzler By Fal Adams
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"It’s a balance between regulation for public safety and bureaucracy. You don’t want to get into a situation that the regulation is so ominous." Hollywood Weekly: Its an honor to be speaking with you this afternoon, thank you for taking the time to sit down with Hollywood Weekly Magazine. The event was super busy, I’d say that was a huge success for the cause. There are many cannabis events worldwide which I’m sure you’ve attended. What I enjoyed very much about this discussion in particular is that it answered so many legal and scientific inquiries; meanwhile opening up many other doorways. Lets jump right in..You mentioned there was a bill on its 4th or 5th mark up that treats cannabis as an “agricultural product” i.e. lettuce, etc.. which, from the standpoint of the federal office means there would be no regulation necessary. Whats the main argument for regulation? Dr. Metzler: “Its always been listed as a substance that is highly addictive: an illegal substance that leads to crime, a gateway to drug-using behavior. When you have that going on, it is largely because of political pressure. ‘Just say no to drugs’ and that sort of thing. Cannabis listed as a gateway drug is the main argument. HW: The FDA has just approved the first drug which is cannabis-based to treat epilepsy. What kind of message does this send to any skeptics of the medical effects of cannabis? DM: “It starts to send a very strong message of the strength [of cannabis.] The FDA approval is such a stringent process, this softens the skeptical view. A lot of people see cannabis as strictly a so-called ‘party drug’ in their view. Pretty much what they see is the ability of people to get in car accidents, law enforcement campaigning ‘driving vaped gets you arrested’ in Florida.. It sends a message that the clinical trials would all have to be at or above par, effectively.” HW: As a former prosecutor, you stated that regulating dispensaries in the industry would be a task worth pursuing if you were still assuming this role. How would you go about those regulations? What sort of standards would you put into place? DM: “So a couple of things relative to regulations..If you look at a number of the states like California or Portland, what you have to really regulate is the number of pop-up shops because the over saturation of the
markets for example in California there’s one on every corner. So the question becomes setting regulation for the shops to in fact have quality control processes. To use cannabis that is tested for pesticides or additives or any of those kinds of things. You really have to regulate those for purposes of standards and safety. You don’t want to over-regulate so that people go out of business. It’s a balance between regulation for public safety and bureaucracy. You don’t want to get into a situation that the regulation is so ominous. What ends up happening is that it really just doesn’t make sense to do it. thats not what you want to do. You want to be able to strike that balance.” HW: Regarding negative stereotypes, why do you believe there has been such a harsh focus on the negative influence versus the positive? DM: “So in terms of the negative stereotypes..the negative stereotypes are everywhere. Particularly from a visual standpoint. And keep in mind that, really, what you end up happening with having the negative stereotypes are, you know, these kind of seedy images of people having pot parties or behaving in an unruly manner, those kinds of things. You also have people in a lot of people’s mind who are generally black and brown people really engaging in criminal behavior. And so people are saying ‘I don’t want that criminal element in my neighborhood.’ So, you have that.. also, since there is no counter or at least no significant counter images, what ends up happening is that the negative message goes out more rapidly and more easily because people have a fear and its a danger. Its all of those kinds of things. Keep in mind you have a lot of people who don’t support it. For example Big Pharma is one of the industries that really doesn’t support it because they understand that it would threaten their market superiority. As from a law enforcement standpoint too.. what law enforcement is concerned about are these campaigns subtly aimed at the drivers. What they want to make sure doesn’t happen is that you use cannabis as a cover or a pretext for trafficking illegal drugs and other illegal activities. Growing cannabis on public land, violence in use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution in cannabis. Thats a lot of what you see relative to the negative stereotypes. From the positive standpoint: at the top is this notion that it needs HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 39
"You have to have an excellent brand campaign to move forward." a rebranding. So we look at rebranding from the standpoint of medicinal purposes, also from the standpoint of pain relief, from the standpoint of relaxation. There are even some very innovative approaches for example the whole notion of meditation and using cannabis from a stress relief standpoint. Also, If you look at patients with chronic pain for example, a lot of the medicine provided can be addictive. And they may have to be on this medication for a long time. Keep in mind, without the use of pesticides in the cannabis product what you really have is a natural product with natural healing remedies, multiple uses in things like HIV and clearly as the FDA has just said the possibility of the use in the treatment of epilepsy.” HW: Clearly, every person I’ve ever met who has consumed cannabis seems to be much happier in their overall livelihood. You said it is important for rebranding, to look at actual users... why was the evidence not there before? DM: “Well, the evidence wasn’t really there before because too many people relied almost exclusively on the negative stereotypes. So the positive messages haven’t gotten out. When you do a rebranding effort especially now in the social media atmosphere, the rebranding aspects are critical in terms of visual images: showing visual images through the use of social media rather than the images that are shown. If you look right now for example in rap videos, what you see that ends up happening is cannabis mixed with drinking alcohol and those kinds of things. That is a lasting impression. The script on that has to be flipped to show the evidence is there, however we have been so conditioned to think about it in the negative, that the evidence doesn’t often do it.” HW: The President has said he is likely to support cannabis legislation. How likely is this to happen? DM: “I think its very likely that its going to happen, but I do think that what has to happen is it needs to be sensible legislation. The department of health and human services, the FDA; all those groups have to get involved to make sure its evidence-based. Part of what happens when you try new things in this arena... it is evidence-based. What does the science show? What do the clinical trials show? Do the benefits outweigh the risk? All of that needs to be explored to make a convincing argument.” HW: Regarding the Right to Try Bill - why wouldn’t cannabis fall into that arena and what is the hold-up if the numbers are booming? 40 • HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
DM: “The Right to Try legislation really has not been tested yet. It would be a novel argument for someone to request cannabis under the RTT legislation. And if that occurs, then it would be a very good test case to see where the political will is. No one’s done it yet. The guidelines are fairly new, but it would still be a novel medical and legal argument to take forward.” HW: There are apparently shell companies owned by Big Pharma which are buying dispensaries, holding stock, purchasing fields for cultivation - do you see this as hypocrisy? DM: “Absolutely, its hypocrisy. It is absolute hypocrisy because on the one hand you’re saying ‘no, no’ and then on the other hand you’re saying “we may need to do that, because we realize we don’t want to lose our market positioning in the future. Its hypocritical but on one hand is a smart business decision for the shareholders. When you’re making these kinds of decisions you’re going to have to look at what is best for the shareholders as well.” HW: For anyone interested in starting out in the game, what sort of advice do you have in order to avoid getting caught up in the over-saturation. What are some good business models? DM: “So, I would say number one: really understand what is the experience of the cannabis user going to be. Atmosphere. What is the atmosphere of the place where you’re going to be selling from? Number two: what is your motivation for doing it? Three: what is your focus? Four: how do you align yourself with community organizations because you do have a good citizenship responsibility to not harm the people that you serve. Look at solid financial projections. You have to do a very thorough market analysis. You have to have an excellent brand campaign to move forward.” HW: The IRS Tax rate... what are the main issues concerning the financial structure? DM: “Well, you know we don’t know that yet. The question’s going to end up being how assuming this becomes legal at the federal level. Then what folks are gonna have to be able to do is set up a financial model. The question becomes how do you set up the company. Are you doing a partnership, an limited liability corporation? Are you doing a management company with subsidiaries? You have to look at good counsel and good tax/financial professionals to decide what the best model is going be.”
HW: I’ve experienced myself that certain delivery services can be misleading by packaging false strains and sending them to patients who are unable to distinguish the difference. Have you heard anything about this? What sort of comment would you like to make about that? DM: “That goes a lot to the quality control issues I was talking about. When you’re talking about strains and those kinds of things, it is why genetic testing to determine what your body will tolerate, how would it metabolize, etc. That’s why its is so important. Like any other industry, there are a lot of folks that are going to try to take advantage of what they see as an opportunity before much else.” HW: Can you describe some of the effects you enjoy from cannabis? How has it helped you and your daily routine? DM: “Relaxation is number one extremely important. Relaxation, calm feeling, really a full context of self in a number of different environments. More open to communication. Relaxation in particular as it relates to stress. America is one of the most stressful places to live.”
Dr. Metzler© Shot by Fal Adams
Dr. Metzler© Shot by Fal Adams
HW: You are a fellow at the Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine in Philadelphia, please describe more of this program they have out there. DM: “It is The Institute for the Study of Cannabis. What the folks are doing is research in the cannabis space, finding out what are some of the methodologies that can best be used. The best scientific evidence. All of those things are being done.” HW: How do you see cannabis further collaborating with the entertainment world? DM: “You know, from the entertainment arena, that is a fascinating combination for a number of reasons. One: the entertainment industry has a reputation in some cases which they’ve deserved for excessive drug use and all of these things. You have some entertainers who are starting to lend their celebrity to cannabis brands. The fear I think is how are they going to brand it that doesn’t take us back to a lot of the existing original stereotypes. Its the same problem you have where you want to lend your celebrity to them but you want to do it in a way that is respectful of the science that doesn’t reinforce the existing stereotypes.” HW: There are some major developments happening and we got major exclusives at your presentation. This swab test that helps doctors determine what is best for you based on genetic markers.. how can our readers get more involved? DM: “What they can do for more information is they can visit my website at www.DrChristopherMetzler.com, they can follow me on any one of my social media sites and I’ll be happy to share with them a link to the testing kit and from there.”
HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 41
Benicio Del Toro and Isabela Moner in Sicario 2 ©IMDB
Hollywood Weekly Movie Critique Sicario 2: Day of The Soldado By Kam Williams
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Behind The Scenes Sicario 2 ©IMDB
can’t think of a movie that has ever been more timely. Just as the debate about the detention of undocumented aliens has reached a fevered pitch, here we have a film revolving around the dark side of the border wars. It doesn’t focus as much on the vast majority of non-violent refugees entering the country in search of the American Dream as on the “bad hombres” Donald Trump has repeatedly alluded to since the day he threw his hat into the ring as a presidential candidate. Although the film is technically a sequel, one need not have seen the original to enjoy this heart-pounding adventure. Directed by Italy’s Stefano Sollima (Suburra) and written by Oscar-nominee Taylor Sheridan (for Hell or High Water), Sicario: Day of the Soldado co-stars Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro reprising their lead roles as CIA Agent Graver and undercover operative Alejandro Gillick, respectively. As the film unfolds, we find the two being dispatched to Mexico by the Secretary of Defense (Matthew Modine) to smoke out the human traffickers smuggling radical Islamists into the U.S. There’s an urgency to their mission, given that
some suicide bombers embedded with Latinos seeking asylum recently snuck across the Rio Grande before blowing themselves up in a big box store in Kansas City. Trouble is, there are too Mexican gangs and too little time to sort out which one has started exporting terrorist cells. So, instead of searching for the guilty parties, our heroes secretly kidnap the daughter of a crime boss hoping that her mysterious disappearance will trigger a bloody turf war among the cartels competing for control of the region. There is a method to the madness behind abducting Isabela Reyes (Isabela Moner). After all, her father is the ruthless kingpin who ordered the massacre of Gillick’s family in Sicario 1. The ruse works for awhile, but the plot thickens when the Mexican government catches wind of the spies’ scheme. The U.S. disavows any connection to them, a la Mission: Impossible, and suddenly it’s each man for himself in a harrowing struggle to escape back to the States by any means necessary. A riveting, rough-edged, political thriller not to be missed! HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 43
Josh Brolin in Sicario 2 ©IMDB
Benicio Del Toro in Sicario 2 ©IMDB
Behind The Scenes Sicario 2 ©IMDB
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Josh Brolin, Jeffrey Donovan, Benicio Del Toro in Sicario 2 ©IMDB
FILM REVIEW Excellent 4 stars Rated R for profanity, graphic violence and bloody images In English and Spanish with subtitles Running time:122 minutes Production Studios: Black Label Media / Rai Cinema / Thunder Road Pictures Distributor: Columbia Pictures HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 45
My Carnival Cruise Experience The Tucker Family By Monica Tucker 46 â€¢ HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY
My Carnival Cruise Experience My familys first cruise was in December 2015. I was a little apprehensive at first as I approached the ship. In the back of my mind all I could think about was “Girl are you kidding me?”I realized that I am afraid to walk along side a shore line to watch your husband fish off the docks and now I’m about to board a ship for three days with no land in sight for miles. Not to mention the fact that you can’t swim in four feet of water! Nevertheless, I put my fears aside so that my family and I may spend perhaps a once in a lifetime experience on a cruise ship. We drove from Oklahoma City to Galveston, Texas it’s an eight hour trip that seem like twelve hours counting all the bathroom breaks. My kids slept all the way, but my husband must have drank a gallon of coffee just to stay awake. When we arrived in Galveston, we had an early check in so we parked our car across the street where there were many parking garages. We parked our vehicle for about $95 per week in a covered parking lot. I don’t know why we could have save money by parking in an uncovered parking lot for $80 especially since this how we normally park at home. We had a shuttle take us across the street, but don’t get me wrong, we had a lot of luggage. The lines were extremely long I advise you to select an early check in. It’s very important to have your Identification, Passport or Birth Certificate in hand as you approach the security clearance. Once you are on board the ship you can relax beside the pool or get something to eat. Before the ship leaves the port you have a mandatory safety meeting. They discuss emergency procedures similar to how a steward would explain safety precautions on a plane. So wear comfortable shoes because we were standing for about fort-five minutes while they explained their safety procedures. Once the ship is out at sea…Game on casino lights come on as the party begins. We were out at sea for two days before we reached our first destination. Exiting the ship you must carry in hand your Sail ID Card that you received once you go on board the ship. We packed enough clothes to last for weeks on a three day cruise. To my surprise, there was a laundry room on board where you had to pay using your Sail Card which cost about $3 to wash and dry your clothes. Another good thing about Carnival is you are able to bring a case of can drinks, per person, aboard the ship. Because keep in mind you pay for everything , excluding meals, tea, lemonade and coffee on board. The food was wonderful . At any time day or night you can get up and get something to eat like our favorite sandwiches or pizza with endless ice cream. There is so much to do on board with many age appropriate activities for children and adults. There was swimming, basketball, a gym to work out and a daycare for the little ones, but after nine pm, daycare is no longer free. Be sure to set limits on your children Sail Card. Our 9 yr old son Elijah, came to me smiling. “ Mommy I had so much fun in the game room. I played a lot games but I came back to the room because the card stopped working.” So, something told me go check your balance with customer service and I realized that he had ran up a $100 bill. I was so upset but I realized that it was my fault. I have two sons Jaelen who is 14 yrs old loves social media. He likes to watched videos on You Tube. I told him before we left for the cruise not to use his phone to call his friends but Mr. Jaelen ran up a $300 cellphone bill. When we reached port at Key West, Florida I changed my plan to include WiFi for the duration of the cruise. Jaelen said Mom, “you said not to use the phone to call my friends, well you did not say that I could not play games that I had downloaded before we left home.” I said Jaelen you’re using WiFi !! Being on the cruise was like being in Las Vegas. Nonstop action. We enjoyed our vacations with Carnival Cruise so much we have gone to Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas and Key West, Florida. We plan to go on a cruise next summer and are looking forward to many more. Thanks Carnival!!
Monica Tucker Oklahoma City, OK
HOLLYWOOD WEEKLY • 47
Books That Make You… Celebrate the USA By Bree Swider
The Fourth of July, summer BBQs, family reunions, gearing up for November elections, and Labor Day weekend: the summer is filled with reasons to celebrate and reflect on the good old USA.
It is also a great time to stock your bookshelf. Take a look at these recommended reads. Alternate histories, dystopian futures, honoring our military vets, real-life terrorist threats, and more, are the themes of these books that make you take a closer look at the USA. After all, information is power, and being well-read is a patriotic thing to do.
IGHT SPOTLOK BO
A Train Hauls Children and “ThrownAway People” to an Uncertain Fate It sounds like it could be ripped from today’s headlines, but the premise for the awardwinning The Engine Woman’s Light is set in an alternate version of California in 1894. In it, a train destined for an asylum picks up passengers for nefarious reasons.
Author Laurel Anne Hill explains, “When I began research for my book, I already knew the wretched extent to which a ‘favored’ group of people could dehumanize outsiders. Yet, learning about the genocide of 120,000 Native Americans in California (1846-1873), the exploitation of the Chinese laborers who built the Transcontinental Railroad (1864-1869), and the Yankees’ vile treatment of Mexican-Americans, filled me with shock, anger and dismay.” In The Engine Woman’s Light, our hero is fifteenyear-old Juanita. She faces difficult decisions in order to save the innocent. As you follow her journey, you’ll question who she really is. Perhaps Juanita is a mystic who values human life, or she might be a railroad saboteur? Read this stunning book to find the answers. Spirits meet steampunk in this action adventure that everyone is reading this summer. Order your copy of The Engine Woman’s Light from Amazon or other places books are sold.
What Was Life Really Like in Colonial America?
What better way to explore Colonial America than by stepping back in time to the 1760s? Grab a backpack and join scientist Matt Miller as he wakes up in a newly-forming society.
Discover the limitations and the incredible tenacity of the pioneers who formed our nation in this must-read time-tripping book series. First, grab a copy of Journeyman, which is book one. Then move onto The Prophet, which is book two. After reading each, you’ll be ready for book three which is coming soon. Written by Mark J. Rose, a scientist who has a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and is director of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics at a major biotech company, the Matt Miller in the Colonies books are perfect for science fiction fans who enjoy a blend of time-travel and historical fiction.
“I already knew the wretched extent to which a ‘favored’ group of people could dehumanize outsiders” Laurel Anne Hill
A Vivid Exploration of PTSD in a Graphic Novel
When our military heroes come home from fighting, we rarely see the impact post-traumatic stress disorder has on them. The graphic novel Gates of Midnight: Warrior of the Gate is about Raven Moon who returns home to New York City after her tour as a combat medic in Afghanistan. Moon held her fiancé in her arms as he died. Her devoted father is ripped away from her. She is alone and on a mission to investigate her dad’s death. Ultimately, this hero discovers there are monsters in New York beyond the human ones she’s familiar with. A supernatural thriller, Gates of Midnight is a graphic novel written by D. Lynn Smith and is available from Kymera Press.
Show the USA Your Pride
Author Nanishka Torres was inspired to write a different kind of story when she saw the struggles of her gay brother. Not wanting to write another coming-out story, or one where an LGBTQ character is victimized, she instead crafted an epic fantasy adventure where true love reigns supreme. The Fenrir Chronicles: The Prince is Torres’ first book. In it, Prince Callum must save the man he loves from a radical religious faction that rails against science and reason. In an America where the White House ignores Pride Month for the second year in a row, show your pride by reading this stunning fantasy adventure.
The ERA, #MeToo, and the Fate of Women in the USA and Beyond
Did you know that the Equal Rights Amendment was never ratified? As of March 30, 2018, it needs just one more state to vote yes. Do you realize that despite the current #MeToo movement, 58% of women who say they have experienced sexual harassment also say that women not being believed is a major problem in the workplace, according to the Pew Research Center, April 4, 2018, Sexual Harassment at Work in the Era of #MeToo. These facts add wind to the sails of the breakout dystopian novel XX v XY: The Final World War. The book takes readers to a near future where women and men are divided as America is split into East and West sides. Is this the future of the USA? Decide for yourself when you read this unputdownable book created by Bobby Goldstein and authored by Christina Cigala.
Feeling Anxiety or Depression? Take a Moment to Laugh with this Delightful Book
When the weight of the world becomes stressful, and you feel anxious or depressed, take a break with Laurie Finkelstein’s Next Therapist Please. Mental health awareness is a series topic, but relieving stress is also healthy. This book is a fictional adventure that’s based on Laurie’s own experiences as she hopped from one therapist to the next in search of fulfillment. If you can relate, then join the adventure with a read for all who have been blessed with a mental illness. Book sales supports the National Alliance of Mental Illness, NAMI. The organization helps raise awareness and fight the stigma. 10% of book sales are donated to the cause.
Every American Loves a Mystery
Baker’s Dozen is cozy mystery set in one of the USA’s most iconic cities during the last centuries’ most exciting decade. Baker’s Dozen is the first book in the Lexi Fagan Mystery Series. It is set in San Francisco during the 80s, and promises to keep you turning the sizzling-hot pages. Author Autumn Doerr introduces readers to Lexi after she moves to the big city. Caught up in a steamy romance with a firefighter, the man is unfortunately discovered dead in a mysterious blaze. Will Lexi find out what happened in time? Grab a copy of Baker’s Dozen and enter Lexi’s world of intrigue, mistaken identity, and burnt cookies.
Love books? Want to win books? Want to join us on a totally bookish adventure? Visit www.BooksThatMakeYou.com to discover more.
Because Nothing Is More American than Rock and Roll
Voices by Robert Yehling uses the epochal summer of love as the backdrop for a father-daughterdaughter relationship book with a rock and roll vibe. Inspired by true events, Voices is the fictional story of legendary rock and roll singer/ songwriter Tom Timoreaux who brings his estranged daughter on tour. As they sing together and heal their relationship, Tom’s long-lost love child watches from afar. Will she make herself known to the father she thought was dead? If you love rock and roll, you’ll love this book. Discover how love and healing are always possible, and why music speaks louder than words.
The USA Is Under Cyber Attack: You Are Being Warned
Messing with the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News is by former FBI Special Agent, U.S. Army officer, and leading cyber-security expert, Clint Watts. In it, you’ll take an essential look at how terrorists use social media to influence public opinion, the misinformation campaigns of other governments, and the deluge of fake news. Only read this book if you are a patriot strong enough to handle a sobering look at our new world. It is one in which cyber criminals don’t bother to hack your computer, they hack your mind. Learn to spot the bots, resist propaganda, and outwit the enemy trying to steal the American dream when you read Messing with the Enemy.
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