Film

A Film About Japan's First Black Samurai Is Currently In Development

Lionsgate is developing a new action-drama film based on the story of Yasuke, the first black samurai.

A fascinating story about the first black samurai is being adapted into a feature-length action drama by Lionsgate Entertainment.


Shadow and Act has reported that the upcoming film will tell the story of Yasuke—a black samurai who lived in Japan in the 14th century and served under the Japanese ruler Oda Nobunaga. Historical accounts say that Yasuke could have originated from present-day Mozambique, Ethiopia or Angola. It's said that upon his arrival in Japan, people were enamored by his presence, as he was the first black person that many had ever seen. He eventually worked his way up the ranks to become one of Nobunaga's most prized warriors.

Black Samurai is based on the true story of an African whose journey to Japan comes with conflicting background stories,” Gregory Widen, the film's scriptwriter, tells Deadline. “The one I’ve chosen is that he was a slave soldier after the fall of Abysinnian Bengal, a black kingdom run by Ethiopians. He was sold into slavery and found himself in the care of Alessandro Valignano, an Italian missionary. They formed a bond, and when there were complications in Rome, he was sent to Japan and took Yasuke with him. There he met Oda Nobunaga, who was interested in all Western things, and through a series of bizarre events, the Jesuit left Yasukie with the warlord.”

There isn't too much known about Yasuke, but one things that historians have all agreed on, is that he was 100 percent black—I feel obligated to point this out given Hollywood's track record with historically black narratives. It'll be exciting to find out which black actor gets tapped for the role.

Lionsgate hasn't set a release date as of yet, but remain on the lookout for what—if done properly—is sure to be a captivating production.

 

 

"SA Rappers Out Here Killing Y'all," M.I Abaga On Nigerian Rappers

M.I has fueled a debate about the state Nigerian hip-hop with his latest song, "You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Life."

Nigerian star M.I Abaga is back with a punch and taking aim at all of his fellow Nigerian rappers.

The track—which sees M.I. drop lines like "none of you rappers is real enough... that's why these fans are not feeling ya'll," "SA rappers out here killing ya,ll," and "rappers are singing now just to get popular, yuck"—has sparked a debate across social media on the current state of Nigerian hip-hop.

There's been some calling out M.I for not supporting young Nigerian rappers like big rappers do in South Africa. These years have seen the likes of Cassper Nyovest and other big SA stars supporting younger talent.

Others, however, have taken up the challenge and started responding to M.I's track over the "Fix Up Your Life" instrumental. M.I's been retweeting the responses and, in a way, the track's been getting a lot of the young rappers M.I calls out some more attention.

M.I and his label Chocolate City have also been in the news lately over suing Nas for not delivering a good verse.

What do you think? Is Nigerian hip-hop in decline?

See some choice tweets below.

Video: Looking at the Roots of IsiPantsula Culture Through Some of Its Leading Voices

This new video shows us why South African Pantsula is much more than just a dance move.

Pantsula is more than just a dance, it's a cultural movement and it's being revived through enthusiastic South African youth.

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In Photos: Migos' Culture Tour in Johannesburg

ATL trio Migos' Culture Tour had two South African stops–in Durban on Friday and Johannesburg on Saturday.

We attended the Joburg leg of the tour, and the group didn't disappoint, although the event itself was unacceptably disorganized. South African rappers Riky Rick and Nasty C gave great performances, especially the latter.

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