Fat Joe brought New York hip-hop to Miami for an energetic pre-Super Bowl concert a day ahead of the big game.
The Bronx rapper was joined by fellow New Yorkers 50 Cent and Remy Ma for the Pepsi Super Splash Pool Party on Saturday at Clevelander South Beach.
Joe performed a number of hits, including the Grammy-nominated smashes "What's Luv?," "Lean Back" and "All the Way Up." Ma surprised the audience, rapping on the latter two songs, while her rapper-husband, Papoose, freestyled onstage, earning cheers from the crowd.
50 Cent, who is from Queens, got the loudest applause from the hyped crowd when he performed "What Up Gangsta" and his debut hit, "In Da Club."
Onstage Fat Joe asked 50 multiple times, "Who shot Ghost?," referring to the lead character from the rap entrepreneur's hit series on Starz, "Power."
Other performers included Flo Rida and DJ Khaled, who has headlined multiple pre-Super Bowl concerts this week and did his signature dance to his hit "Wild Thoughts" alongside Joe.
Saturday's concert comes a day before Shakira and Joe's Bronx pal, Jennifer Lopez, headline the halftime show at the Hard Rock Stadium.
Actor and director Elizabeth Banks is being honored as Woman of the Year by Harvard University's famed Hasty Pudding theater troupe.
The "Hunger Games" star will be paraded through Harvard Square and then awarded a golden pudding pot following a celebratory roast by the troupe on Friday. The student group will then perform a preview of its latest show, "Mean Ghouls."
Hasty Pudding says it picked Banks because she's a role model for women in Hollywood as a director, producer and writer.
The more than 200-year-old troupe, which is considered the nation's oldest collegiate theatrical organization, has made strides in recent years to better represent women in its productions.
Last year was the first in which women were allowed in the cast. Organizers say this year's performance boasts a majority female cast, a female writer and female producers.
The troupe has bestowed the Woman of the Year award since 1951.
Previous winners include Ella Fitzgerald, Meryl Streep and Halle Berry. This year's Man of the Year has not yet been announced.
A native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the 45-year-old Banks has received three Emmy nominations for roles on the television shows "Modern Family" and "30 Rock."
She also directed 2015's "Pitch Perfect 2" and produced, wrote, directed and appeared in last year's reboot of "Charlie's Angels."
After the premiere of "Minari" at the Sundance Film Festival, while many in the audience were still drying their eyes, director Lee Isaac Chung quoted the fauthor Willa Cather to explain how he had come to write a film based on his childhood, when his Korean family moved to rural Arkansas.
"Life began for me when I ceased to admire and began to remember."
Chung's memories, he said, started pouring out of him. A family drama began to form for the 41-year-old filmmaker about his upbringing in Arkansas. About his parent's struggle as immigrants in a strange new land. About his father's hard-fought attempts to start a small farm. About his tender but comic relationship with his grandmother.
"I wanted to shape the narrative to have different pockets of how this family might not make it, might not survive," Chung said in an interview the morning after the film's premiere in Park City. "Those were the tensions I was playing with. Each family member kind of has their turn, their shot at growth and maturation. It wasn't a traditional narrative of one hero but more: How do I make the whole family the hero?"
"Minari" has been an unquestionable high point to this year's Sundance, a breakout critical hit that with exquisite tenderness and simple beauty brings to life a classic immigrant tale and a compassionate family drama. The film, an American production with dialogue mostly in Korean, has some heavyweight backers. It was produced by Plan B Productions (Brad Pitt is an executive producer), and independent distributor A24 is releasing it later this year.
While low in budget, "Minari" is the kind of non-English film -- personal, authentic -- that might have once stood little chance of getting made. But independent filmmakers and labels like Neon and A24 have been pushing those boundaries, and movies like "The Farewell" and "Parasite" have proven there's a wide American audience for them.
Steven Yeun, the Korean-born actor who plays the father in "Minari," has been working to great acclaim on both sides of the Pacific. The "Walking Dead" actor won best supporting actor from numerous critics groups for 2018's exceptional Korean mystery drama "Burning." He was the first to sign on "Minari."
"Sometimes identity become a focal point of how to approach the other or a difference in how we see Americans," said Yeun, sitting alongside his director. "I've read many scripts about families of immigrants. A lot of the time, they're explanatory or they're catering to an audience that's not even of themselves. When it does that, it loses its authenticity and romanticizes in some ways, idealizes in other ways. When I read the script, I was like: This is unabashedly a truthful telling of these human beings."
Chung, who was born in Denver and whose four previous films include his Rwanda-set debut "Munyurangabo," specifically credited Plan B producer Christina Oh for wanting to keep "Minari" true to Chung's experience.
"She was always clear: Let's make this as Korean as possible," Chung said. "At the same time, it's a low-budget film so we were allowed to take a risk that I don't think big-budget films would have been allowed to."
Chung's parents were at the premiere of "Minari," as were Yeun's, making for a very emotional evening. Chung called it cathartic for him and his parents. "They feel like I understand what they went through," he said. "I've noticed a shift in the way we talk to each other."
Yeun described a similar journey in playing the father, Jacob.
"At times I warred with playing him in a cliche so we could cater to a larger message, or playing him a very specific, individual way. Obviously, the right choice is as an individual. But it was humbling to know I had to go through that journey to see my dad truly," Yeun said. "Sitting next to my dad, everyone was crying after the movie but as I was getting up, I just put my hand on him. And then it was over."
Ricky Martin's wide smile began to fade as the Puerto Rican superstar talked about his next album.
It's influenced by the U.S. territory's political turmoil as people struggle to recover from Hurricane Maria and a recent 6.4 magnitude earthquake that killed one person and destroyed hundreds of homes amid a 13-year recession.
"I'm going to use my music to carry the message of all those who aren't being heard," he told The Associated Press on Monday while preparing for a concert on his native island.
The 48-year-old father of four children joined in the big demonstrations last year that led Ricardo Rosselló to resign as the island's governor, and although he hasn't been at the most recent protests against current Gov. Wanda Vázquez, he has gone on social media urging her to step down.
"It would be an act of justice for our island," he said in a video Thursday. "There are no immediate legal mechanisms for you and your entire team to leave and pay for all our suffering. But I have good news. The elections come in November and I am certain, certain, that the people will rise up more than ever."
Martin's upcoming album is not the one he originally envisioned. He said he was going through a very romantic period in his life when he began recording, but all that changed when the 2019 protests in Puerto Rico erupted. The demonstrations were fed by anger over corruption and over the way the government responded to Hurricane Maria, the September 2017 storm that wreaked havoc on the island, killing an estimated 2,975 people in its aftermath.
Martin participated in the demonstrations alongside other artists and found a new idea for the album.
"When I returned to the studio, everything that I had done musically expired because I had poetic material in my head to share with the world after what happened in the streets of Puerto Rico," he said.
Martin said the album will be titled "Movimiento" and will contain 12 songs.
"In all of them, I will in some way express everything that I experienced," he said, alluding to the demonstrations. "All of the stories I heard from people who simply were not being heard."
One of the album's songs is the newly released single "Tiburones," which means "sharks" in Spanish. The video was shot in Puerto Rico and shows a woman face to face with police in riot gear. Around her neck is a green kerchief that Martin said was the actress' idea to wear and one he fully supports since it symbolizes the fight for a woman's right to have an abortion.
"What I've always wanted is a woman to have the right to do whatever she wants with her body," he said. "I'm always going to defend that."
Some have criticized Martin's involvement in the 2019 protests and his recent comments regarding the current government's response to the earthquake and strong aftershocks, accusing him of being an opportunist and of riling people up only to leave the island afterward. Others have posted online messages asking that he stay out of the island's affairs.
Martin remains unfazed.
"I shouldn't be interested in Puerto Rico because I don't live in Puerto Rico?" he asked. "To the contrary. I believe that not being on the island has made me appreciate my culture more, appreciate my people more, my language, my music, where I come from."
The brother of rapper Nicki Minaj was sentenced Monday to 25 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl at his Long Island home.
A judge convicted Jelani Maraj of predatory sexual assault and child endangerment in November 2017. The victim testified during the trial that Maraj repeatedly raped her in 2015 while her mother was at work.
Prosecutors have said DNA evidence recovered from the girl's pajama pants was linked to Maraj. The girl's younger brother also testified at the trial that he witnessed one assault.
Maraj's attorney appealed conviction in 2018, claiming that there was jury misconduct. The judge ruled in October that the defense did not meet the necessary burden of proof.
Maraj said in court Monday that he had an alcohol problem and asked for a "second chance." One of his attorneys said he suffered from health issues including hypertension, gout and anemia and requested the minimum sentence of 10 years to life.
Maraj's appellate attorney, Stephen Scaring, said he plans to appeal the judge's decision.