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Marvel Is Pushing for 'Black Panther' to Win 'Best Picture' Despite Oscar's New 'Popular Film' Category

The studio wants 'Black Panther' to become its first Oscar-winning movie, and is putting major support behind making it happen.

Despite the Academy's introduction of the "Best Popular Film" Oscar category, Marvel Studios is still pushing for Back Panther to earn the coveted "Best Picture" title at the 2019 Oscars.

The decision to create the "Best Popular Film" category earlier this month fell under scrutiny by many critics that felt it was a mere consolation prize, intended as a pat on the back for mainstream, commercially successful films like Black Panther, which the Academy deems not quite worthy enough of earning "Best Picture"—the biggest award of the night.

Disney Studios, however, is making major moves to ensure that Black Panther has a fair chance of taking home the award. According to the LA Times, the studio has hired Oscar strategist Cynthia Swartz to create a campaign for the record-shattering super hero film—the third highest grossing movie of all time in the US—and has put significant funding behind the campaign.


READ: The 2017 Guide to Blackness at the Oscars

For Marvel head Kevin Feige, one motivation for Black Panther earning the nomination—besides the increased profit and accolades it would bring the studio, of course—is the rightful acknowledgment of director Ryan Coogler's unique vision and groundbreaking execution, which led to the film having immense cultural impact.

He was quoted in the LA Times as saying:

"I would like to see the hard work and the effort and the vision and the belief of the talented filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who sat across the table from us a few years ago and said, 'I have been wrestling with questions about my past and my heritage and I think I really want to tell a story within this movie,' " Feige said. "And that he did it so unbelievably well and with so much impact … seeing that potentially being recognized is what excites me the most."

The Oscars, infamously known for being "so white," is also known for ignoring superhero films outside of technical categories. If Black Panther were to win "Best Picture" it would not only make is the first superhero film to do so, but it would also be Marvel's first Oscar-winning film ever.

Last week, it was announced that Black Panther will be coming to Netflix in the US this September.

Casanova, Davido & Tory Lanez' '2AM' Will Soundtrack Your Weekend

Flatbush meets Lagos and Toronto in this addictive new single.

Brooklyn rapper Casanova rolls through with an energetic new collaboration with Davido and Tory Lanez.

"2AM" sees the rapper going in over highly-infectious afrobeats-meets-pop beat work, in the same vein as we've heard from massive hits like "Unforgettable." The song was produced by 30 Roc.

The single features the star power of Davido and Tory Lanez which gives "2AM" the increased potential to be one of those huge new jams that'll be getting constant spins this year on both sides of the Atlantic (it's already got the top slot in Spotify's African Heat playlist).

The music video kicks off in Atlanta but eventually follows Casanova to Lagos, where he connects with Davido in Shitta. The clip was directed by Nigeria's Meji Alabi, the creative force behind many of your favorite afrobeats videos.

"2AM" is the lead single from Casanova's upcoming EP, Free At Last, which is due from Roc Nation/Def Jam Recordings on February 15.

We talked to Casanova below to learn a little more about this new collaboration and sound for him.

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Dive Into TOBi's New Music Video For 'City Blues'

The Nigerian-Canadian rapper delivers a solid jam.

TOBi is a Nigerian-born, Toronto-based rapper making music inspired by his early life move to Canada and the experiences around immigration and culture shock.

You might have previously heard his track, "Hidden Fences," closing out the finale of Insecure or gotten into his 2016 debut EP, FYi.

TOBi is now sharing the new single and music for "City Blues," which sees the rapper taking cues from Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" over a beat produced by Free n Losh. It's the first taste we're hearing from his upcoming debut album due later this year.

"[City Blues is] written from one perspective within the African diaspora, pertaining to being caught between two worlds and reclaiming my ethnic identity," TOBi tells OkayAfrica. "Embracing my name has been a crucial part of my personal growth."

"I drew inspiration from the Shakespeare quote: 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.' City Blues speaks about the many roles that a human takes on at once but from my perspective," he adds.

Get into it below.

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Issa Rae to Star In Murder Mystery Rom-Com, 'The Lovebirds,' With Kumail Nanjiani

Issa Rae isn't playing with us in 2019!

Issa Rae has added yet another exciting project to her growing list for 2019, and we're totally here for it.

The actress and Insecure showrunner is set to star alongside comedian and Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani in the upcoming romantic comedy The Lovebirds, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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