Music News: Controversial Tupac Shakur biopic does big box office on opening weekend


Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac Shakur
Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac Shakur in 'All Eyez On Me' (Summit Entertainment)

All Eyez On Me, a Tupac Shakur biopic, opened on Friday — which would have been the late rap icon's 46th birthday. The film performed above expectations at the box office, taking in over $27 million over the weekend.

The movie, though, has proved controversial. Associates of Shakur — including Jada Pinkett Smith, who's portrayed in the film as a close friend — have criticized the film for departing from the Tupac they knew. "The reimagining of my relationship to Pac has been deeply hurtful," tweeted Smith, who says that the film has significant inaccuracies. 50 Cent, who collaborated with Shakur, called the biopic "TRASH."

On the other hand, Shakur friend MC Hammer defended the movie, calling it an "EXCELLENT TRUTHFUL portrayal of my LOVED one."

Most critics gave the film a thumbs-down. The consensus, according to Rotten Tomatoes, is that "despite Demetrius Shipp Jr.’s fine lead performance, All Eyez on Me is mostly a surface-skimming, by-the-numbers biopic of a larger-than-life icon."

In honor of Shakur's birthday, two Atlanta news anchors who've previously worked Notorious B.I.G. and Phife Dawg lyrics into their newscasts gave 'Pac the same treatment.

Jimi Hendrix Park opens in Seattle

After 11 years of delays, Jimi Hendrix Park officially opened on Saturday in the guitarist's hometown of Seattle. The opening of the 2 1/2 acre park coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival, where Hendrix famously set his guitar on fire.

"More than 200 people, from children eager to play with sidewalk chalk to gray-haired fans sporting vintage tie-dye T-shirts, joined local officials, park advocates and the musician's sister for the ribbon-cutting," reports the New York Times. "Musicians from a youth rock camp belted out a cover of 'Purple Haze,' the first tune in a daylong Hendrix soundtrack, from underneath a red sculpture evocative of a butterfly wing."

Beyoncé gives birth to twins

Sources are telling media that last week, the same week Jay Z became the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, he and his wife Beyoncé welcomed a pair of twins into their family. The babies are the couple's second and third children, after big sister Blue Ivy Carter. (Pitchfork)

Justin Bieber sets a chart record for Canadians

Justin Bieber has racked up five number-one hits on Billboard's Hot 100 in the past 20 months — a faster hitmaking rate than any male artist since Michael Jackson in his heyday, although female artists Katy Perry and Rihanna have both achieved chart-toppers more rapidly than Bieber in recent years. Still, those hits vault Bieber past Celine Dion and Bryan Adams to give him more number-ones than any Canadian artist in chart history. He's still got a ways to go to catch up with American leader Mariah Carey (18 number ones) and overall leader the Beatles (20). (Billboard)

Bob Seger takes those old records off the shelf, puts 'em on Spotify

One of the last big-name holdouts from music streaming services has finally put some of his biggest albums on Spotify, Apple Music, and other services. 13 Bob Seger albums are now available to stream, including peak-era classics like Night Moves (1976), Stranger in Town (1978), and Against the Wind (1980). Seger has apparently wanted the music to be available for some time, but cited a dispute between his management and his label, Capitol.

Just a few major artists now continue to keep key releases off popular streaming services. Among them: Garth Brooks, Peter Gabriel, and Tool. (Rolling Stone)

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