Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Rhythm + Flow’ Is Genius And Here Are The Show’s Best Moments…So Far

Since the early 2000s reality television has become both a guilty pleasure for many of us, and a great way to take a peek into culture. We all love stories of winners and losers, we smile with their success and being brutally honest we also love to see them haciendo el oso. But reality shows, specially if they involve a competition, can also provide a glimpse into the everyday struggles of common people in a particular day and age. We equally enjoy watching celebrities doing all the things that us mere mortals do. 

Well, our new obsession is the Netflix show Rhythm +Flow, in which hip hop legends Chance The Rapper, T.I. and our very own one-woman-extravaganza Cardi B scrapped the whole of the United States to find the next big thing in the business. They held auditions in the urban culture epicenters of Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York, where contestants from all walks offer an insight into their lives and their art. Of course, because this is 2019 America, these lives involve street violence, systematic racism, and the struggles of the 99% 

Throughout the show we see Black, Brown and white contestants who have been dealt a tricky hand in life and try to use their experience and lyrical dexterity to find themselves and impress the judges. Most of the episodes have been released, but in a new Netflix tactic they are being made available little by little. 

No spoilers, we promise!

When our queen Cardi B gave us just a little too much information on her sex life.

At one point in the New York auditions she tells a contestant: “Am I gonna think of you when I am getting f’d tonight? No”. Wow, rough. But one of the reasons why we love Cardi B is because she owns her sexuality, right? So let’s not get all moralinos on her. Yeah, good art gotta get our juices flowing, sometimes literally! 

When contestant Beanz rapped about violence and racism and left us con la boca abierta.

Credit: Rhythm and Flow / Netflix

She might look harmless, but Beanz totally explodes once the beat begins. Her family has suffered, like many, from violence and discrimination. She totally owns the stage and makes you root for her as she battles her way in a male dominated arena (yes, for every Cardi B there are dozens of Chance The Rapper, hip hop remains a boy’s club. Church).

When contestant Londynn B first served us those afro futuristic vibes

Credit: Rhythm and Flow / Netflix

Seriously, besides her undeniable rapping ability she reminds us of Iman and Grace Jones, powerful and unique representatives of African beauty and female class and creativity. Yes, with a hint of androgynous feels. 

When we realize that rapper and community leader Nipsey Hussle, who helped during the auditions, died before the show was released.

Credit: Rhythm and Flow / Netflix

In the show we get to know Nipsey Hussle, a true legend from South Los Angeles. And we realize soon that he is no longer with us and he died before he could see the show. Hussle, who was a community leader and was recognized for his efforts by Barack Obama, was shot dead on March 31, 2019. His service was held at Staple Center and huge crowds turned up to honor him. He was going to meet with the LAPD just a few days after his death. In the meeting, they would look for joint solutions to prevent gang violence. 

When contestant Big Mouf Bo delivered some savage lines and taught us that looks can be deceiving.

Credit: Rhythm and Flow / Netflix

The Chicago Tribune published an article on the local talent showcased in the Netflix production, singling out this amazing and lyrical rapper: “Bo’s outstanding preliminary performance sounds as much like slam poetry as it does a rap verse, a natural result of her background”. We just know that if she doesn’t make it as a rapper, she could be the next rising talent in Black poetry. 

When Jakob Campbell tells his life story and breaks our hearts.

Credit: Rhythm and Flow / Netflix

This Atlanta young man lives in a precarious situation with his mom: they share a one bedroom apartment (he sleeps on the couch) and work odd jobs to survive. They are now free from an abusive man who used to beat her and verbally abuse him. Jakob looks like a nice, gentle young man… until he is in front of the mic and he unleashes his anger. Just wow. 

When Snoop Dog is in da house!

Credit: Rhythm and Flow / Netflix

Let’s be honest: if we think about hip hop in Los Angeles, Snoop Dog’s face, verbal gymnastics and cool stoner persona comes to mind. And well, the Los Angeles auditions wouldn’t be complete without him. It is lovely to see him being nice to the contestants as you know he genuinely wants them to succeed. 

When Flawless Real Talk became a Latino Eminem

Credit: Rhythm and Flow / Netflix

He is from Rhode Island and he can certainly deliver some mad lyrics in a very unique and hard to find combination of aggressiveness and vulnerability. Yes, the combo that turned Eminem into a global superstar. Wanna know more about him?

We Finally Have A First Look At The Walter Mercado Documentary ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ And I Can’t Wait

Entertainment

We Finally Have A First Look At The Walter Mercado Documentary ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ And I Can’t Wait

Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Walter Mercado was to the Spanish-speaking world, what Miss Cleo was to the English-speaking one. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, the legendary Puerto Rican psychic and astrologer captivated the Latin world with his glamorous style, gender-nonconforming persona, and warmhearted cosmic readings. Now, he is poised to reach a new level of fandom with a lovingly crafted documentary about his life and career

Our stars dimmed when we lost the great Walter Mercado last year, but with a new Netflix documentary, we get one more glimpse into the man’s flamboyant life.

It’s finally here: the first trailer for Netflix’s Mucho Mucho Amor.

Each and every day more than 120 million viewers tuned in to watch the extravagant, flamboyant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender nonconforming artists charm the world with televised horoscopes. He enthralled his viewers with sequined capes, opulent jewelry, and shared a message of love and hope to his devoted viewers. Then, he mysteriously disappeared.

If you’re like countless tías out there, you’ve been wondering about him ever since. That’s where Mucho, Mucho Amor comes in.

Directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch spent the last two years of Mercado’s life documenting this icons legacy – when he grabbed with the struggles of aging.

The film also drops hints about Mercado’s financial issues and his hiatus from public life. But it also features magnificent footage from his unforgettable entrance at the opening party for HistoryMiami’s 2019 exhibit “Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado.”

It’s an over-the-top moment that celebrates how many in Miami viewed him as royalty as they eagerly awaited his recommended New Year’s Eve rituals each year (customized for each Zodiac sign). It’s safe to say that Mercado captivated people’s attention, and he’ll do it once again with this documentary.

Mercado is often described as the glue that binds migrant communities from all over Latin America.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

At its peak, Mercado’s show was watched by more than 120 million viewers from around Latin America. But he was also an actor, dancer, and writer throughout his career. In fact, he starred in several Puerto Rican telenovelas, including Un adiós en el recuerdo (A Farewell to the Memory) and Larga distancia (Long Distance).

In 1970, he started his regular astrology segment on Puerto Rico’s variety show, El Show de las 12. His star continued to grow, and for decades, his astrology prediction shows aired in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States.

“We grew up with him,” Lin-Manuel Miranda says in the trailer for Mucho Mucho Amor. “I can’t think of an English language astrologer that would command the attention of millions of households.” 

Then, Mercado mysteriously vanished from the public eye. “Maybe he didn’t want to grow old in front of the cameras,” Eugenio Derbez speculates. 

He was also an icon for the LGBTQ community, who – especially in the Latino community – needed one so badly.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Although Mercado was unapologetically sexually-ambiguous, many were still preoccupied with the man’s sexuality. He always took the questions and innuendo in stride though, responding with a joke that would get him off the hook with most. But he meant a lot to gay Latinos during an era where they feared coming out much more than today, just merely for existing.

Even though Mercado never publicly addressed his sexuality, he was an inspiration for many LGBTQ kids, including director Kareem Tabsch.

“I’m a queer kid from Miami and the first time I ever saw Walter on television, it was the first time I ever encountered another person who was queer,” Tabsch recalls.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he added: “I had a simpatico. Seeing him on TV I remember thinking, ‘Huh, there’s something in you that’s like something in me. I see a reflection of me in you, even if I’d never be nearly as fabulous.’ But there was this otherness that I recognized. I felt, ‘If my family loves you just as you are then maybe they could love me as I am too.”

Although before his death he disappeared from public life somewhat unceremoniously, his legacy lives on for millions of Latinos.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Mucho, Mucho Amor does a great job at showing the human-side of Mercado. Yes, he was a beloved television personality, for whom many, he was a literal superhero. But he was also a human, and Netflix’s new documentary will show an entirely new side of the superstar to the world.

Mucho, Mucho Amor debuts on Netflix on July 8.

Colin Kaepernick’s Life to Become Netflix Series From Ava DuVernay

Entertainment

Colin Kaepernick’s Life to Become Netflix Series From Ava DuVernay

Thearon W. Henderson / Getty

Colin Kaepernick’s life is officially getting the Hollywood treatment.

The Black NFL quarterback has announced that he has joined forces with film director Ava DuVernay for a Netflix series titled Colin in Black & White. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the scripted limited drama has been picked to go straight to series.

DuVernay’s six-episode series will take an intimate look at Kaepernick’s childhood, life in high school years, and all of the experiences that led him to become an activist today.

Kaepernick will appear in the series as himself and is set to narrate. An actor will play the younger version of Kaepernick. According to THR, “Emmy nominee Michael Starrbury will pen the script and serve as exec producer alongside DuVernay and Kaepernick. Starrbury previously teamed with DuVernay on Netflix’s Peabody-winning limited series When They See Us, based on the Central Park 5.”

Speaking about her decision to produce a film about the NFL player, DuVernay said that “With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture, and for him, personally. Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports, and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.” 

Netflix says that the drama was conceived back in 2019 and scripts were completed this past May.

The series will look at Kaepernick’s early life as a Black child growing up in a white household that adopted him all while training to become a competitive quarterback while determining his own identity.

“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” Kaepernick told THR. “We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”

“We’re proud to bring Colin’s experience and his creative vision to life as he joins Ava to share his powerful story and message with all our members around the world,” Cindy Holland, VP originals at Netflix, told THRr. “It is an unparalleled union of two strong and defining voices coming together to tell the story about what it’s like to be Black in America.”

Kaepernick’s influence on the current BLM movement is expanding.

In 2016, the football player set out to protest racial injustice, police brutality, and systematic oppression ahead of a San Francisco 49ers game by kneeling during the national anthem. His act of protest ultimately roused polarizing conversations amongst athletes, NFL officials, and fans. At the time President Trump demanded NFL team owners fire Kaepernick along with any other players who protested during the national anthem. Eventually, Kaepernick became a free agent in 2017 and filed a lawsuit against the NFL. He claimed that the organization and its owners had colluded to keep him out of the league.

In February, he signed a deal with Audible to create multiple projects, including for his upcoming memoir.