The don of entertainment Trey Alessio and the consigliere Brandon Ogden break down all the latest in music, movies, TV and sports. The boys talk VMAs, Eminem, Mayweather-McGregor, college football, the future of the DCEU, the Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff and much more.
By the R | U | NTRTND staff
It's finally that time of year again! The don of entertainment, the consigliere and a few other associates got together and predicted how the 2017-18 college football season will play out.
The don of entertainment
R | U | NTRTND associate (hired the whole fam like mobsters)
Resident superhero movie expert and R | U | NTRTND associate
First lady of R | U | NTRTND/associate (hired the whole fam like mobsters)
Stay tuned to R | U | NTRTND for updates on the latest from the college football season.
By Trey Alessio
When I first heard about the idea of Lucasfilm and "Star Wars" doing spinoffs, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little skeptical. Does "Rogue One" really have a ton of appeal at first glance? When first announced there weren't any nostalgic characters leading the way, there weren't any details about the plot that made it pop and the loom and doom of the infamous reshoots and other behind-the-scenes woes only added to my lack of enthusiasm for "Star Wars" spinoffs.
I just didn't want "Star Wars" to become diluted, and my fear was creating spinoffs apart from the almighty Skywalker saga episodes would do so. But I'm man enough to admit when I am wrong, and I was definitely wrong. "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" proved to be one of best "Star Wars" movies. Period. It did everything it was supposed to do. It brought back old memories from the original trilogy while introducing new characters into a plot line we "Star Wars" stans already know much about, it answered some questions we had from Episodes IV, V and VI and it even had an epic Darth Vader light saber scene. It perfectly bridged the gap between the prequels and the original trilogy. "Rogue One" was, honestly, everything I wanted and more.
With "Rogue One," Lucasfilm signed on to do two other spinoffs initially–the still untitled Young Han Solo spinoff and the recently announced Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff. But with the massive success of "Rogue One," "Star Wars" fans everywhere are calling for more and more spinoffs and multiple "Star Wars"/Lucasfilm heads are saying they're willing to continue making "Star Wars" movies as long as people continue to watch them. This basically means as long as there's money to be made and there's an audience for it, "Star Wars," Lucasfilm and Disney will continue making these movies, and why fix something that's not broken?
All this recent talk about an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, that I low-key think was partly generated by a fan-made Reddit user's poster, has sparked massive speculation and wish-list making for other "Star Wars" spinoffs, so we figured we'd throw out some ideas. Lucasfilm, Disney, "Star Wars," you're more than welcome to take our ideas and run with them. Let the "Star Wars" debating begin!
Some people love this idea, some people hate it. But I think Yoda could handle himself in his own spinoff. Think about it: how much do we really know about Yoda? We know he served as the Grandmaster of the Jedi Order in the days of the Galactic Republic and he was the all-wise and powerful Jedi, but beyond that, do we know how he rose to that position? Do we know why his demeanor switched from the tamer, wiser side in the prequels to goofy-but-still-wise side in the original trilogy? Do we know his true origins? Not really. I think it'd be really cool to get Yoda's complete background story. This could be possible with today's CGI and it would bring back a nice dose of nostalgia for the fans.
Before reports surfaced about the Obi-Wan spinoff, it was widely speculated that the unnamed spinoff was going to be a Boba Fett movie. Again, we don't know a ton about Boba Fett. We know he's a bounty hunter and a clone of Jango Fett, we know he worked for Jabba the Hutt and we know was a classic villain against Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in the original trilogy. But doesn't that seem kind of surface-level? I think a Boba Fett spinoff could work because "Rogue One" proved we don't need light sabers and Skywalkers to have an all-time "Star Wars" movie. A Boba Fett movie could be dark, show the violent side of the galaxy and give even more background into Boba Fett's story. I would even be down to watch a complete, different spinoff that took place in the time between "Revenge of the Sith" and "A New Hope." Who doesn't love a good bounty hunter movie?
CREDIT: The Daily Dot
This idea intrigues me the most. "Rogue One" and "The Force Awakens," to some extent, proved that new "Star Wars" movies don't have to be a complete family affair–meaning a little darkness and grit works. What if a whole movie was devoted to a dark side character? Darth Maul would be the perfect candidate because, again, we don't know a lot about him, and he got chopped in half by Qui-Gon Jinn in "The Phantom Menace." I would love to get a deep-dive into Darth Maul's backstory and learn how he became Darth Sidious' apprentice. You've got to admit: Darth Maul is probably the coolest looking villain in all of "Star Wars" and they killed in him in the first episode of the prequels. I think this spinoff could work because it would give a chance to revive and give a good name to the prequels. Give the pointy-headed dude a chance to become an iconic villain!
Jabba the Hutt
This idea is interesting, and I can see both sides of the argument whether to make it happen or not. Apparently, there are already early talks at Lucasfilm to get the ball rolling for a Jabba the Hutt spinoff, which could be a good sign, in general for "Star Wars," because there were initially only supposed to be three spinoffs–"Rogue One," Han Solo and now Obi-Wan. With the rumors of a Jabba the Hutt movie or even a fourth spinoff overall, it could breathe life into Lucasfilm making more and more spinoffs. Here's why I think a Jabba movie would be weird: the creature doesn't speak English. They would have to incorporate Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt's translator, in a big way. Here's why I think a Jabba movie could be kind of cool: it'd be a "Star Wars" gangster movie. Jabba the Hutt was a crime lord on Tatooine where he basically controlled the market for illegal goods, slavery and other violent acts. While we don't know a lot about Jabba the Hutt other than Leia killed him in "Return of the Jedi," the question is: do we really need to know more about Jabba in order to forward our "Star Wars" fandom? A "Star Wars" gangster flick would be awesome, but it also has the potential to fail miserably. This movie would have to be executed perfectly. After my skepticism for "Rogue One," I think twice about doubting "Star Wars," but a Jabba the Hutt movie would be another animal–literally.
An argument for a Count Dooku movie is very similar to the argument for a Darth Maul movie. It would have the same potential to revive the prequels and focus on a dark side character, but what's different about Dooku is his placement in "Attack of the Clones." It felt very shallow. We know Dooku was a Jedi at one point and fell into his Darth Tyranus persona, so that could be something to explore for a potential dark side spinoff. I think it would be cool if Lucasfilm explored Count Dooku's origins and showed his humbled beginnings as a Jedi.
The Knights of Ren
This idea could potentially be a good play for "Star Wars" later on down the road. We've just briefly gotten introduced to Kylo Ren in "The Force Awakens." "The Last Jedi" comes out this December and I'm sure we'll learn more about why Kylo Ren defected from his Jedi training with Luke Skywalker and how he was seduced to the dark side by Supreme Leader Snoke. But I bet we don't actually see how it goes down. I imagine we'll hear a story about how Kylo Ren left Luke, but that's where a Knights of Ren spinoff could be cool. It's hard to predict and wonder about the Knights of Ren when we haven't really been introduced to them in the movies yet. According to Wookieepedia, the Knights of Ren were a dark side organization that operated under the command of Snoke and the First Order. Other than that, we don't know much about the Knights of Ren as there are still two movies to be released in this new trilogy, but Kylo Ren is awesome and I'm sure "Star Wars" will leave some unanswered questions for a potential Knights of Ren spinoff.
I'm not going to lie, I don't know much about this character. I really only know about her from playing the mobile "Star Wars: Heroes" game on my phone. I haven't watched the animated "Clone Wars" or "Rebels" series yet, but I know she was Anakin Skywalker's Padawan learner. This would be Lucasfilm and "Star Wars'" ballsiest move yet. It would have to establish a dominant force much like Marvel has before I think it would ever consider doing a live-action spinoff from the animated spinoff series. From what I've heard, Ahsoka Tano would be a dope character for a spinoff, but I think if the idea is to become feasible, it would be down the road.
Jar Jar Binks
I know this is crazy, I know Jar Jar was George Lucas' slap in the face to "Star Wars" fans and I know this would be the most far-fetched idea for a spinoff. But hear me out! Have you heard the crazy conspiracy theory about Jar Jar Binks being the actual Sith Lord? Here it is in a nutshell: Jar Jar actually has the force, Jar Jar is a Sith collaborator, Jar Jar's stupidity is a way to throw off enemies, Jar Jar hangs out with Palpatine and yada, yada, yada. Here's Buzzfeed's breakdown of the theory for more detail. Basically, it claims Count Dooku is such a shallow, thrown-in character because Jar Jar was originally supposed to be the Sith Lord revealed in Episode II. What if "Star Wars" fed into this theory and created an entire spinoff movie about Jar Jar's attempt to become the Sith Lord and Palpatine putting an end to it? Again, very far-fetched and probably not possible, but it could be another way to give a better name to the prequels.
CREDIT: Den of Geek
Think "Rogue One" vibes with a deeper dive into the original trilogy minus the light sabers. Wedge Antilles flew in the Red Squadron alongside Luke Skywalker, and after Luke destroyed the Death Star, he and Wedge were the only survivors. According to Wookieepedia, Wedge first served in the Imperial Navy as a TIE fighter pilot and defected to join the rebellion. That plot line alone calls for a pretty dope spinoff.
Jedi Origin Story
CREDIT: Film Takeout
Where did the original Jedi come from? How did they rise to power? Who acted as the glue in their come-up? All questions I'd love to see answered in a Jedi Origin story. This gives Lucasfilm the opportunity to bring back some nostalgia as well the chance to introduce new Jedi characters we don't know in order to tell the story of their humble beginnings as an organization. Maybe we could get a Yoda or Mace Windu cameo. Maybe name drop Qui-Gon Jinn or Dooku. Give us a hint of nostalgia and introduce us to a new story like "Rogue One" did, and this could have the potential to be one of the best "Star Wars" movies ever made, in my opinion.
For now, we have the Young Han Solo movie, which is close to being done with production, and the recently announced Obi-Wan Kenobi movie to look forward to. The Kenobi movie is set to be helmed by Oscar-nominated director Stephen Daldry, but it has yet to be announced whether or not Ewan McGregor will reprise his role as Obi-Wan. All we can do now is wait for "The Last Jedi," the untitled Han Solo movie and speculate about what's next in a galaxy far, far away.
The don of entertainment Trey Alessio and the consigliere Brandon Ogden are back with another episode of the OG podcast. The boys talk Disney pulling its content from Netflix, SoundCloud's recent troubles, Comic-Con, Eminem's upcoming album, the upcoming R-rated Venom movie, Travis Scott's upcoming album, Bryce Harper's injury, Ezekiel Elliott's suspension and much more.
By Trey Alessio
I love hip-hop. It has been there to help me celebrate my biggest accomplishments, it has been there to assist in my occasional turn-up, it has been there to teach me countless life lessons and it has been there to get me through the tough times. Today marks the 44th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite songs throughout the years.
"Lose Yourself" - Eminem
One day when I was a kid, my dad randomly found an "8 Mile" CD at work and brought it home for his listening pleasure. After begging and pleading, he finally gave me permission to listen, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever because it cussed, it made me feel confident and it was just cool seeing a rapper who looked like me. Little did I know, Eminem would provide the soundtrack to my life moving forward as a hip-hop fan. The man has a song for every emotion. If you're sad, if you're pissed off, if you feel like laughing, if you need to get fired up, Eminem has a song for you in his discography. But for me, it all started with "Lose Yourself" from the "8 Mile" soundtrack. Don't be afraid to lose yourself in the music!
"Buried Alive" - Logic
I have a special place in my heart for Logic. I remember scrolling though HotNewHipHop one day back in 2012 and randomly coming across a mixtape cover with a picture of a young Frank Sinatra. The artwork drew me in but the music spoke to me. I instantly became a fan of Logic and his Young Sinatra alter ego. I remember telling everybody I knew who liked rap music about Logic and feeling so good about recruiting new members into the Ratt Pack. A part of me felt like I discovered Logic. After finding "Young Sinatra: Undeniable," I went back and listened to "Young, Broke & Infamous" and "Young Sinatra" and truly became a super fan. As I followed Logic's career and he released his debut album, "Under Pressure," one song stood out to me more than the others. "Buried Alive" came out during a dark time in my life and really spoke to me. I felt like Logic was telling me that it was okay to feel down, it was okay to feel buried alive, but, in the end, everything will work out. I live with that mindset everyday.
"Maybe I Should" - Sylvan LaCue (formerly QuESt)
In my opinion, Sylvan LaCue is one of the most underrated rappers in recent years. The dude's storytelling and the way he constructs and pieces together a project are next to none. I can honestly say his mixtape, "Searching Sylvan," changed my life. It came out during a time in my life where it resonated with me and inspired me more than almost any other project ever has. One of my favorite songs from the mixtape is "Maybe I Should." I loved the message similar to that of "Buried Alive," but I also loved the way it set up the rest of the project. I highly recommend giving LaCue a listen.
"Juicy" - The Notorious B.I.G.
Biggie was a little before my time, but I have done my homework when it comes to the hip-hop classics. "Juicy" is widely recognized as one of the most iconic rap songs of all-time (or at least in my mind). The samples, the flow, the lyricism, the storytelling, the swagger, it all comes together on this classic track by one of the greatest to ever rap into a microphone. It had to make the list.
"Keep Ya Head Up" - 2Pac
My list wouldn't be complete without a 2Pac song. Picking a favorite song of his is hard because he has a wide variety of songs in his discography, much like Eminem, but I think my favorite one is "Keep Ya Head Up." I love the flow and the message about respecting women. I think it's a topic that needs to be heard by the masses, and I appreciate that from the late, great 2Pac.
"How Much a Dollar Cost" - Kendrick Lamar
Like 2Pac, picking one favorite song from Kendrick Lamar's catalog is excruciatingly tough because K Dot is an album guy. The way he cohesively pieces song after song on each album is truly incredible, and the man is a master at the craft. I'll even confidently go as far to say that Kendrick Lamar will go down as one of the greatest rappers of all-time. I think my favorite story K Dot has ever told came on my favorite album of all-time, "To Pimp a Butterfly." The song, "How Much a Dollar Cost" (also President Obama's favorite song from 2015) is a story about Kendrick running into a homeless man at a gas station. The homeless man asks the rich and famous Kendrick Lamar for a single dollar bill, but Kendrick refuses, saying he doesn't have any money to give. Through perfectly crafted, lyrical storytelling by K Dot and a beautiful hook sang by James Fauntleroy, the story is woven around and it's revealed that the homeless man is actually God. God says in the song, "I'll tell you just how much a dollar cost; the price of having a spot in Heaven, embrace your loss." The lesson: always be humble.
"Goosebumps" - Travis Scott (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
I had to throw in a turn-up song into the mix. Travis Scott does a perfect job of making his music sonically above anything you've ever heard before. The beats are always banging and he adds in a great mix of auto-tuned vocals with dope rhymes. Add in an epic verse by K Dot and you have one of the best turn-up songs ever. Turn it one when you're heading to the club.
"Roc Boys (And the Winner Is...)" - Jay-Z
Don't sleep on "American Gangster" Hov! This song has the bravado of a drug kingpin's conquest and the sound of an ultimate celebration. It's a feel-good song that touches on a lot of dark topics once you peel back the layers. But that's what makes Jay-Z so great. This is one of my favorite music videos as well.
"Baby Got Back" - Sir-Mix-A-Lot
This is the ultimate rap sing-along song. Throw this jam on at a party and watch the whole crowd break into rap mode. "Baby Got Back" is just a fun song to get the vibe right.
"Go Flex" - Post Malone
I had to throw in a new-age rap-sung jam into the list. This might be my sleeper pick. When I first heard Post Malone's debut album, "Stoney," I thought it was going to get washed away in diluted wave of new-age auto-tuned rap. I thought it was okay but nothing special, but as I listened more and more, the vibes became smoother and smoother. "Go Flex" is one of Post Malone's best songs and I'll go out on a limb to say it could be the poster-child song for the new wave of hip-hop.
Rap music is very near and dear to me. I love hearing rappers' stories and how they piece together projects. I love the range of sounds and emotions you can pull from the songs. I love the lessons you can learn from the stories told. I love dissecting albums. I love hip-hop. This list doesn't even scratch the surface when it comes to my favorite rap songs, but I just wanted to give you a glimpse into my love for the genre, its artists and the stories they tell. Hip-hop is a beautiful thing, it's alive and well and it's here to stay.
The Don of Entertainment