News Brief

Gbenga Akinnagbe Portrays Tenacious Prison Boxer George Lee Martin in 'Heart, Baby!'

The undefeated athlete turned down an offer to box in the 1984 Olympics in exchange for his freedom.

Although most still connect Nigerian-American actor Gbenga Akinnagbe to the cult classic series The Wire, he's been having a solid run of playing complex characters in TV and in film so far this year.

In the trailer for Heart, Baby!—a film based on a true story directed by Angela Shelton—Akinnagbe plays George Lee Martin, an invincible prison boxer serving time in the Central Tennessee State Penitentiary.

The film tells the story of Martin, who was sentenced to 40 years in prison for armed robbery at 18 years old, Deadline reports. He turned down an offer from the US Olympic team in exchange for his freedom in 1984.


Watch the trailer below.

Akinnagbe also speaks about the humbling experience playing Martin in a brief clip from when the movie was in production in 2017.

"I'm excited for the world to see it," he says.

The cast also features Jackson Rathbone, Big Freedia, Shawn Caulin Young, Quinton Aaron, Dana Gourrier, Keir O'Donnell, Justice Leak, and more. Check out more information via the film's website here.

Heart, Baby! was acquired by distributor North Of Two, and is set to have its world premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival. The film will then land in New York November 16 at Village East Theatre and at the Ahrya Fine Arts Laemmle Theatre November 23 in Los Angeles. Additional cities will follow.

'Thandazinto' single cover from Kwaito artist Makhalanjalo.

Listen to Makhalanjalo's New Single 'Thand'izinto'

Listen to new artist Makhalanjalo's kwaito single 'Thand'izinto' from the upcoming album 'Amanzi'.

Makhalanjalo has released his highly-anticipated single "Thand'izinto". The single is the latest offering from the the relatively new artist who has swept through Cape Town's music scene. "Thand'izinto" comes ahead of the upcoming album Amanzi.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by 2020HHA/Getty Images via Getty Images

Burna Boy's 'Destiny' Makes Biden-Harris Playlist as Inauguration Day Arrives

Burna Boy's 'Destiny' has been featured on the US presidential inauguration playlist which will usher into office President-elect, Joe Biden, and Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris.

Burna Boy's "Destiny" has reportedly been included in the US presidential inauguration playlist. The international Nigerian artist is the only African that features on the 46-track playlist which will usher in the 46th President of the United States of America, Joe Biden and his Vice President, Kamala Harris. The playlist was produced in partnership with Insecure creator Issa Rae's music label, Raedio. The playlist comes ahead of the inauguration ceremony which will be taking place later this evening. Burna Boy also featured on former President Barack Obama's Summer playlist in 2020.

Keep reading... Show less

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Joeboy Shares Visuals for New Track 'Lonely'

Joeboy has dropped the music video for his latest track 'Lonely'. The endearing track features on his upcoming debut album 'Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic'.