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Maejor Brings ‘Balance’ & ‘Harmony’ To The Universe With The Cosmic Video For ‘Frequency’

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In a time of turmoil and chaos, hip hop artist Maejor is here to help you find little ‘light’ and peace. He tells us EXCLUSIVELY how his videos for ‘Frequency’ and ‘X’ are meant to ‘lift’ your spirits — literally.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still not over, and while parts of the country are acting like it is, other parts remain closed down for the foreseeable future. Despite this bleary outlook, three-time Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter/artist Maejor has released Vol. 1: Frequency, a project intentionally designed to make people feel better. Incorporating 432 Hz and 444 Hz – sound frequencies that some consider having relaxing or “healing” properties – Maejor’s new music aims to introduce mainstream listeners to the healing vibrations and inspire peace, calm, and positivity in a world that seems anything but.

For some, though, it’s a case of “seeing is believing,” which is why Maejor released a music video for “X (432 Hz).” Shot against a nearly abandoned Los Angeles during the height of lockdown, Maejor cavorts and has a great time, all by himself. “I just wanted to make a statement,” he tells HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview. “Like, we can go out by ourselves and create a time, have a blast, complete fun, and freedom. Just me — you know, we didn’t need a lot of people to have fun, and that’s also kinda the message I wanted to send.”

He now follows “X” with his new video for “Frequency.” The video’s kaleidoscope imagery is one part Alice In Wonderland, one part cosmic journey to the stars. It perfectly matches the otherworldly vibe of the track, giving the listener a sense that they’re reaching a higher plane of consciousness. The imagery, Maejor tells HollywoodLife, was inspired by Robert Edward Grant‘s works. “[It’s] known as ‘the sound of the spheres,’ and it represents the balance of light, color, and harmony,” adds Maejor.

Unfortunately, listening to a dope song with a “healing” frequency won’t cure things like systemic poverty – which is why Maejor has taken an extra step with his new video. He’s teamed up with A Place Called Home, a non-profit organization focused on inner-city youth programs in Los Angeles to help raise money for kids in need. He talks EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife about this partnership, where he found the inspiration to incorporate 432 Hz into his new music, and what he plans to accomplish when 2020 is over.

Maejor, in focus on the ‘frequency’ of existence (Ashley Osborn)

HollywoodLife: You bring the Samba to “Frequency.” How did you end up deciding on incorporating those flavors in this song? Was it just calling to you?

Maejor: The samba vibe was brought into the song by co-writer Richard Rudolph — “Double R.” He is the writer of “Lovin You” by the late legend Minnie Ripperton, and he wanted to bring back that classic feeling into the modern era.

You previously released “X (432 Hz),” a music video that captured the feel of partying all night out in the city. How did that all come together?

Maejor: So for ‘X,’ we filmed this video during a time when people said basically, ‘you can’t have gatherings.’ People were basically saying we can’t film the music video – we can’t film anything… and I just wanted to make a statement. Like, we can go out by ourselves and create a time, have a blast, complete fun, and freedom. Just me — you know, we didn’t need a lot of people to have fun, and that’s also kinda the message I wanted to send. Also that even in this isolation, we can still find our joy, our passion, our fun. I didn’t wanna let anything stop the creativity.

432 Hz tuning is considered by some to be a “healing frequency,” so that explains that part of the title. Why did you go with “X”? Did you want to just put out a song without the limitations of a title?

The title’ X’ is a shortening of the title ecstasy. Which I say in the song, but I didn’t want people to think that the song was about drugs. It is really about being high on life. ‘X’ is also a symbol meaning unknown. You see, Malcolm X uses it, and many different people use it. X means unknown- so I like the concept of naming a song ‘X.’

The use of 432hz throughout Vol. 1: Frequency indicates that there’s a deeper thought here. You even cited Nikola Tesla when discussing the album (“If you wish to understand the universe- think of energy, frequency, and vibration”). When did you first discover the use of frequencies as a healing method, and what motivated you to incorporate them into this project?

I discovered the use of frequencies as a healing method by witnessing music that I had produced and written being performed all over the world. I would travel with some of these artists, [and] I would see hundreds of thousands of people singing and vibrating on the same frequency of something I wrote while I was alone.

I realized that we had a great power and responsibility, and so I started studying, looking into how does sound affects us, what ways does sound affect our bodies, minds, and spirits. I started looking everywhere. I started studying with monks, scientists, spiritual leaders, different communities/people about every way sound effects the body.

I found there is a lot of ways, and I wanted to be able to bring that into mainstream music. Something that you are listening to — you don’t even notice it but on a subtle level — it’s lifting you up, making you feel better, healthier, more energized, more relaxed. All the things that are positive I wanted to put into the frequency of the sound.

As part of this video’s release, you’ve partnered with A Place Called Home, a non-profit focused on inner-city youth programs in LA. You’ve always been one for philanthropy (you partnered with the American Cancer Society following your own battle with Leukemia.) What drew you to APCH? And how can people help?

A place called home is amazing. I did partner with ACS following my battle with Leukemia. But the reason I chose A Place Called Home is because of the energy of the place. When I went there, I saw so many bright and talented children, and I love that they are investing all of their resources and energy into helping develop the next generation into the strongest wisest and smartest group that they can be. That’s essential because they are going to take the world from here. They are going to take care of us. So, I love what A Place Called Home is doing. The kids I met there where on another level, so I am really honored to work with a place called home.

Since “X” is about being optimistic and grateful to be alive, we’ll end on a positive note: we’re in the second half of 2020. What’s one thing you’re going to accomplish by the time the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31st?

Before the end of the year, I am excited to launch our new music label IM. The entire intention of the label is about spreading love and raising consciences. It’s a little bit different than a traditional label, but it’s really exciting because we have an intention, and we want to be really clear with that intention and stick to it because, for me, the music is all about love.

Mejor’s Vol. 1: Frequency is out now.

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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