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'Black Panther' Is Set To Be the First Film Released in Saudi Arabia in 35 Years

Talk about an impact.

Black Panther continues to do what seems to be the impossible with more milestones achieved this week.

Variety reports Disney and Italia Film, its Middle East distribution partner, is set to release the Marvel blockbuster April 18 in Saudi Arabia—this premiere will break the country's 35-year cinema ban.


The screening will hold in a new AMC-branded movie theater in Riyadh with a gala premiere. Black Panther "will mark the first public screening in the kindgom since movie theaters were banned in the early 1980s, after Saudi Arabia adopted ultraconservative religious standards in 1979. Removal of the ban, announced last December, is part of a drive by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to transform Saudi society," Variety says.

Black Panther continues to surpass box office records, with topping the overall domestic gross of Jurassic World as well as beating Frozen worldwide, Forbes reports. This makes the film the fourth biggest-grossing movie of all time in North America and it's now the top 10 all-time grossers in the world. By the time this weekend ends, it's set to surpass Titanic.

At the rate of this film's impact so far (it's only April), Wakanda surely is forever—and we're here for it.

Music

Adekunle Gold Teases Upcoming Album With New Single "Mercy"

The Nigerian afropop crooner has fans sitting in anticipation for his new album, due out February 4.

Afropop favorite Adekunle Gold is back on our minds with the announcement that his upcoming album Catch Me If You Can is out in a week! The Nigerian superstar has already teased fans with tracks "High" featuring Davido, "Sinner" featuring American singer Lucky Daye, and now shares his latest "Mercy."

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Music
Image courtesy of Spinall.

The 5 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Spinall x Adekunle Gold, Ibibio Sound Machine, Turunesh and more

Every week, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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Film
Photo courtesy of Madelyn Bonilla

Madelyn Bonilla On Being The AfroLatina Representation Her Younger Self Needed

Bonilla, the founder of online community Brown Narrativ, spoke with us about how her experiences as an AfroLatina woman in NYC’s Bronx led her to write and direct her debut film, Pajón.

Madelyn Bonilla is dedicated to being the person she needed when she was growing up.

The former forensic science researcher-turned-advertising guru was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and raised in the Bronx, New York - or, “where Hip-Hop was bred”, as the 36-year-old puts it. Growing up in a typically Latinx family, community, and neighborhood, Bonilla knew that there was so much more of herself to discover, as her interests in Black culture shaped a lot of her life. It wasn’t until her early 20s that she started to allow herself to explore her identity as an AfroLatina woman. The first to do so in her family, Bonilla faced – and still faces – scrutiny and shaming from the Latinx community at large, but also from her own loved ones. Comments like, “Your hair looks messy” or, “Your hair’s not combed” when Bonilla first began rocking her natural curls truly mirrored the thoughts and opinions of those around her, too. Her experiences as an AfroLatina woman are the experiences so many face, as they try to get to the root of their own roots.

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The Fugees' Concerts In Ghana & Nigeria Cancelled

Their entire reunion world tour "will not be able to happen [due to] the continued Covid pandemic."