TIDAL’s 4:44 Ads

First thought to be signaling a new album from Jay Z, TIDAL’s inexplicable 4:44 advertisements have been causing a stir in several major cities and the mainstream media. TIDAL—Jay Z’s multifaceted streaming service—planted advertisements both online and throughout New York City, as well as securing a spot during the NBA finals for a television ad. The TV spot appears to be promoting a new boxing movie, featuring Mahershala Ali, Danny Glover, and Lupia Nyong’o. The final frame of the one-minute clip discloses a partnership between TIDAL and Sprint. Days later, Sprint’s CEO released news that Sprint customers can receive a free 6-month trial of TIDAL’s streaming services with appropriate registration. Below is Sprint’s new 30-second advertisement, featuring Playboi Carti’s “Magnolia.”

Game of Thrones, The Coming Seasons

As the HBO show Game of Thrones returns to television on July 16th for its seventh season, conversation has started regarding the eighth and final season. With the shorter, six-episode seventh season, fans wondered how many episodes the final season would contain, as well as when the eighth and final season would be released. It appears as though we now have answers to these pending questions. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have long stated that the final season would only consist of six episodes, confirmed by Entertainment Weekly. The supposed reason for a shorter season is HBO’s ability to increase the budget and quality on each individual episode. In regards to the release date of the eighth season, HBO’s programming president, Casey Bloys, confirmed in an interview that the final season wouldn’t air until late 2018 or early 2019. This places a full year between the seventh and eighth season, leaving fans with time to deliberate the upcoming seventh season.

Biggie & Tupac Documentaries To Come

A&E is giving the fans of original hip-hop a gift in late June: documentaries of the Notorious B.I.G and Tupac Shakur. The Notorious B.I.G. documentary, titled Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G., will launch in two parts on June 28th-29th and will highlight interviews from the rapper’s mother and widow. Audio recordings and footage from film archives will be included as well. Along with Biggie’s biography, A&E will be launching a six-part series—also on June 29th—on the life and death of Tupac Shakur, titled Who Killed Tupac?. While the Biggie documentary will focus on the life of the Notorious B.I.G., the Tupac Shakur documentary will focus more heavily on the investigation behind Tupac’s murder in 1996. A&E plans to tell more biographical stories on rappers in a series-like format. Pitchfork, The Fader, and Rolling Stone note that future shows include biographies on Kanye West and Chance the Rapper.

Rihanna & Education Advocacy

After being named Humanitarian of the Year in February by Harvard University, Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty has been continuing her education advocacy efforts with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Following her founding of the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, Rihanna and the organization partnered with the international group Global Citizen and GPE to push for a quality education in even the world’s poorest countries. As the Global Ambassador for GPE, Rihanna strives to encourage leaders and lawmakers to increase their support for global education. More recently, Global Citizen has released a 10-minute documentary titled Inside Rihanna’s Trip to Malawi for Education. The film itself touches on the struggles that local students, activists, and politicians encounter including poverty, hunger, women’s rights, lack of resources—and many more. As the film progresses, it becomes evident as to why Rihanna continues to adamantly push for educational resources in impoverished countries, specifically Malawi. Watch the short documentary below.

Frank Ocean Takes the Stage

After cancelling festival performances at Primavera, Sasquatch, and Hangout due to “production delays beyond his control,” fans began to wonder if Frank Ocean would—again—retreat from the mainstream. Relieving the panic of his fans, Frank Ocean returned to the stage at NorthSide Festival in Aarhus, Denmark, and again—days later—at Parklife Festival in Manchester, England after three quiet years. Along with the return of the man himself, new ‘Blonded’ merchandise came overseas with Ocean. Later in the summer, Ocean still has planned appearances at FYF Fest in Los Angeles and NYC’s Panorama Music Festival. Whether Ocean will cancel these performances is a mystery. Regardless, fans remain pleased with his most recent performances in Denmark and England. Consequently, these recent events leave us with one question: Is Frank Ocean here to stay?

CREDIT: Visionhaus/Getty Images

CREDIT: Visionhaus/Getty Images

by Sabrina Ghantous