Journalist, Self-published author of five books, podcast host, and photographer since 2014, Murjani Rawls has been stretching the capabilities of his creativity and passions, Rawls has as a portfolio spanning through many mediums including music, television, movies, and more. Operating out of the New York area, Rawls has photographed over 200+ artists spanning many genres, written over 800 articles ranging from displaying his passionate aspirations to keep evolving as his years in media continue.

RBG's Legacy and the Fight For the Ninth Seat

On March 16th, 2016, President Obama nominated then- Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. This was to fill the vacant seat of Antonin Scalia, who had passed away a month before. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell refused to take up a vote stating that "the American people should have a say in the court's direction. It is a president's constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and it is th

'Antebellum' Loses Itself Within The Metaphoric Parallels of Racism It Tries To Convey

Movies are one of the best artistic tools we have to convey the quote from writer and philosopher George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 2013’s Oscar award-winning 12 Years As A Slave displayed America’s horrific history with slavery in an emotional, graphic period piece. Movies like this have some criticisms levied against them – on one hand, you want to capture that historical context, but also given the abundance of them, it’s not the only personifi

WWE NXT 09/16: Welcome To The Ball Pit

Last week’s SUPER TUESDAY episode gave us a new champion and king of the castle, Finn Balor. This week gave us the building blocks as we head towards an October Takeover (crosses fingers for a Halloween Havoc theme). If you don’t know by now, Shotzi Blackheart is a star. It’s an embarrassment of riches in the NXT Women’s division, and the non-title match between Io Shirai and Blackheart was another example of that. They both had to work out the timing in the beginning, and once they got through

Fantasia Fest 2020 Review: ‘The Oak Room’

Sometimes the greatest mysteries or evil deeds happen in the smallest corners of the darkest parts of towns. The places where secrets get revealed and generational wounds can unravel – all taking place on one frosty night in Ontario. The Oak Room, directed by Cody Calahan, is an exploratory, slow-burn exercise into the psyche of characters with terse history. This story first started out as a play – in how this theatrical translation is managed, it enhances the psychological chess game that the

Fantasia 2020 Review: ‘For the Sake of Vicious’

If you tried to describe For The Sake Of Vicious in one sentence – well, you can’t. The movie takes a lot of horror themes and mixes it in a pot of a mostly coherent, thrilling, and tension building affair. Usually, horror movies themed around Halloween have to deal with ghouls, ghosts, and goblins. Here, the real evil is based around the human psyche and how it reacts to the need for revenge and violence around it. Romina (Lora Burke) who is a nurse is preparing to go home after a long shift a

‘Peninsula’ Strives For Bigger Impact, But Stretches the Emotional Aspects Thin

Since George Romero‘s 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead, the story of zombies being the scourge among us has been finagled in every which way. 2016’s Train To Busan felt like such a breath of fresh air in the genre – as the movie brought terrifying claustrophobia paired with a story that critiqued greed and elevated selflessness between family. Director Yeon Sang-ho made a movie that could make you feel and be taken over by anxiety all the same. With success as sequels do, there is an urge

Fantasia 2020 Review: ‘You Cannot Kill David Arquette’

April 26, 2000, is a date that is a sore spot for wrestling aficionados across the world. On that edition of WCW Monday Nitro, actor David Arquette won the WCW World Championship. A booking decision that got panned across the board by both die-hard wrestling fans and long-time veteran wrestlers. Towards the end of the famed Monday Night Wars, WCW was on its last breaths as WWF/E continued to take off into the stratosphere with the Attitude Era. They needed a publicity blitz, so then booker Vince

#Alive Combines Themes of Horror, Isolation, and Impermanence Inside An Enjoyable Zombie Movie

#Alive, a Korean zombie horror-drama now available on Netflix, forgoes the need for backstory and places you within the action from the beginning. That’s much to the movie’s benefit. Director Cho Il-hyung chooses that setting to make the audience just as uneasy as the characters are. Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) is a gamer who views an onslaught of a zombie outbreak from his top-floor apartment. His family is out in the world and he’s left wondering what happened to them – not to mention, a dwindling

The Day That the Court Stood Still

Yesterday, on the fourth anniversary of Colin Kaepernick's initial protest in the NFL, the hardwood floor in Florida stood still. No LED panels with virtual fans. No dunks, three-point shots, or argued calls. Silence. The Milwaukee Bucks decided right before game time to boycott their game five outing against the Orlando Magic in reference to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Soon after, all the other teams followed suit, and the games were promptly postponed. It made me think back to the

AEW All Out Review: A Mixed Bag

On a hot and humid Saturday night in Florida, AEW put on the second All Out. Going into this Pay-Per-View, there was an average go-home show. Some matches on the card had better build-ups and anticipations than others. Other than a couple of matches, All Out felt like an addendum to Dynamite. Something else that was notable — no Cody match. His matches have a certain style of booking, and you could feel his absence on the show. Not taking anything away from Dustin Rhodes’ promo, which was one of

To Chadwick Boseman: A Most Gracious Thank You

At the 2014 iteration of Comic-Con, Marvel unveiled their Phase 3 slate of movies. Within a string of announcements was Captain America: Civil War due on May 6th, 2016. I’ll never forget the image of the two pillars of the MCU, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans squaring up, and then Chadwick Boseman coming in spitting the difference as Black Panther. Besides that, there was a Black Panther solo movie in the works. Boseman had just come off performances as Jackie Robinson in 2013’s 42 and James B

Vérité Speaks On 'Younger Women, Closure, and the Motivation Behind New Limbs: Volume 1

‘Younger Women,’ the newest single from singer/songwriter Vérité, named Kelsey Byrne, is an exercise in confronting the end of a union and having the courage to call it out. A verbal funeral and musical cleansing at the same time. The beginning of the song finds Byrne’s voice meeting the threads of synths as she speaks to the unsure feeling in the air of love leaving the room. It feels as though you are inside the emotions she is poetically conveying as only she can: “I held my breath for as lo

PVRIS's Lynn Gunn Takes Charge and Dances Away the Demons On Use Me

Something happened on the way to PVRIS‘s third album, Use Me. First, they released an EP called Hallucinations in 2019. Songs like ‘Death of Me,’ ‘Nightmare,’ and the title track marked a new direction as these songs infused a danceable, upbeat tempo to their already storied esthetic. Then, in an interview with Rocksound, singer/multi-instrumentalist, and producer extraordinaire Lynn Gunn spoke candidly about being the band’s creative architect. In a career that was already uplifting and meanin

Jacob Blake and the Repeated Cost of Black Pain In America

Sigh. When I first wrote about George Floyd’s death back on May 28th, I wrote these words: “Can I sit here and honestly say to you that instances like this won’t happen again? No. I give you a resounding no. More than likely, I’ll be right back in this chair typing another version of this again.” Guess what? I was right. I’m right back in the same chair writing about another instance of police brutality. I wish I wasn’t. It’s like a cruel reoccurrence of Groundhog’s Day. To be Black in America

Donna Missal On Lighter, Catharsis, and How Her Creative Processes Has Grown

When I was speaking to New Jersey born singer-songwriter Donna Missal about her newest album Lighter, I mentioned that it felt like a story. Not just of heartbreak, but all the in-between. The feelings of regret, contemplation of going back, and ultimately choosing to be alone to heal. From ‘How Does It Feel’ to ‘I’m Not Ready,’ you’re taken along a journey of someone who fighting and surrendering to a maelstrom of emotions. (Both songs even reference each other.) “Maybe I should listen to it a

With DC Fandome, Warner Brothers Finally Shows Confidence Within Their Film Universe

2016 and 2017 was an uneven time for Warner Brothers DCEU. Batman vs. Superman divides fan bases with its darker turns. Suicide Squad wasn’t really the bombastic time as promised in the trailers that proceeded it. There was a critical and box office win with Women Woman, but Justice League – oh, Justice League. (I’m sure we all know the story by now.). Yes, darker times. Patty Jenkins‘ Wonder Woman was a hint at what was to come for the young DCEU. With movies like 2018’s Aquaman and 2019’s Sha

The USPS and the Promise Of A Fair Election Are Under Attack. Here Are the Things We Can Do

80 days. 80 more days until the United States general election. It’s a year where you seemingly blink and you find yourself in another month. On November 3rd, will all be collectively exercising our right to vote to choose our state and local officials, house and senate reps, and the next president of the United States. But this year isn’t like any other year. The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much present and in the fall, will coincide with the flu season. For some, in-person voting will not

There Is More At Stake Than Just The Presidency

In June of 2019, Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden made a statement about working with segregationist senators such as then Georgia representative Hermy Talmadge and opposing busing in the 1970s. During the second Democratic debate, Senator Kamala Harris was able to speak to Biden about his comments. One of the most powerful moments was when they locked eyes and she said, “there was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools. And she was

‘Black-ish’s’ “Please, Baby, Please” Is As Poignant As Ever Given Current Times

“Please, Baby, Please,” the previously shelved episode on ABC’s Black-ish‘s sitcom begins with a storm. While it’s a physical storm, it manifests as a storm that reverberates throughout the entire Johnson family. Andre (Anthony Anderson) is wide awake recalling time rapidly changing – from polar ice caps melting to animals disappearing. As Sam Cooke’s ‘Change Gon Come’ plays in the background, the patriarch of the family acknowledges that he’s scared about the current times. Show creator Kenya B

'Relic' Predicates Building Atmosphere As Horror Delves Into The Effects of Cognitive Decline

When you are younger, you tend to look at parents and grandparents as a forever pillar. Things such as age, diseases, and mortality aren’t as big as worries unless you, unfortunately, see them firsthand. Getting older comes with a broader worldview – with that, seeing the constraints of time and the effects on the human body. Relic puts this notion front and center. Sometimes, the most horrific things aren’t the boogeyman under the bed or ghosts – it’s that father time ultimately has a debt to b
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