• Kali Ah Yuen

The Roundup: May 2021

Updated: May 27

The saying goes, April showers bring May flowers and that's exactly what it did. As vaccinations rise and things slowly get back to normal, we're seeing a lot of things begin to bloom in the world of pop culture (and we're here for it).


Many creative works came to fruition this month along with some star-studded relationships, inductions leaving a legacy behind, and a lot of self-realization. We've got all the releases and news to cover, so let's dive in!



New to the Screen

Cruella

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Disney took a leap of faith with this new spin on the classic villain, Cruella. Think the Devil Wears Prada meets the wonderful world of Disney. Played by the comical actress, Emma Stone, the live-action prequel story of the dog-hating villainess from 101 Dalmatians is giving us all the punk-rock London vibes.


This one is really for all the outcasts who are here to make a statement in the world as you will follow Cruella from aspiring to be a fashion designer to becoming the notorious Cruella de Vil. Very revolutionary for the childhood brand with themes of being your authentic self no matter what, all throughout the film. It might also be putting the beloved black Doc Marten combat boots back on the market as we speak.


Spiral: From the Book of Saw

The infamous horror movie is back with a new twist. For fans of the Saw series, you know that Jigsaw is gone, but that doesn't mean the games are. The backstory behind this new film is all about dirty cops - do with that information as you please, we don't want to give away too much. Starring Chris Rock and, for fans of Handmaid's Tale, Max Minghella, the two officers go on a wild hunt to find the person behind the Spiral.

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Although it might be hard to take Chris Rock seriously in a non-comedic role, it won't take away from the new death contraptions, full circle storyline, and plot twists along the way. And that's not all, the end of the movie will give a sneak peek into what's to come. Long live Jigsaw!


The Hills: New Beginnings


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So happy 2010 could rejoin us again with season 2 of MTV's The Hills. New Beginnings is the perfect way to sum up the show because guess who is back? If you guessed Kristin Cavallari you were correct. The cast members may be rich, but 11 years later, after the season finale of The Hills, they are all experiencing the same millennial woes as you. From healing from past relationships to navigating life as a single mom, these Californians are just doing the do with a side of drama.


Get ready to watch your old-time favorites live out their 30s in the new season. Unfortunately, Lauren "L.C." Conrad has once again decided to opt-out of reliving her 20s. But, who knows what will happen in the future because the rest is still "unwritten."

Must-Have Jams


The Off-Season, J. Cole


Cole World is back with more punchlines and wordplay than ever in The Off-Season. The recently released album is more laid back from the "heavy-handed preachiness" that made KOD and 4 Your Eyez Only stand out, proving that your 30s are a different game than your 20s. Take a listen and you'll hear the messages around the difference between "fighting for survival and playing for longevity."


Cole also released a mini-documentary leading up to the release, asking the pressing question: Why is it so hard to be great in rap as you get older? He says he figured it all out with the answer simply being that rappers try to cling to their old days instead of embracing and reflecting on the change. He avoids that in this new project, even if it means losing a spot in those conversations he dreams of.

Beam Me Up Scotty, Nicki Minaj


Who would have thought Nicki would pop up back on the scene after "retiring?" All of us. The rapper's recent re-release of her breakout 2009 mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty shows how far rap music has come and how it may just pass her. This trend is no different from the re-releases of Jhené Aiko's Sailing Soul(s) mixtapes or Drake's Care Package compilation to showcase significant moments of experimentation. However, this release comes with three new songs, plus more of the original tape. The Barbz are going to love reminiscing on the mixtape that paved the way for all of Nicki's accomplishments.

"I Like Dat", T-Pain & Kehlani


Here's to the millennials who still f*ck with T-Pain! His new single, "I Like Dat" is a flip of the 2007 hit "Buy U a Drank", now coming from a woman's perspective. With lyrics all about how a woman doesn't want a drink but someone who can pay for her rent instead, shows the evolution of women empowerment. Kehlani comes in to strengthen that perspective with her sweet, sensual vocals making this single a beautifully crafted hit.


P.S. T-Pain is set to release a new book, Can I Mix You A Drink? 50 Cocktails from My Life & Career. If longevity ain't the name of the game here, we don't know what is.

(Do it for the) Culture


A$AP Rocky & Rihanna Are the New Love Birds

A Pisces and Libra walk onto the red carpet... If you haven't heard, the rapper confirmed that he and Rihanna are dating following years of rumors about their relationship status. In a recent GQ interview, he said Rihanna is "the love of my life". They aren't really seen on camera together, but he said he's happy to be in a monogamous relationship. And when he said "I think when you know, you know. She's the One," you could hear the chime of wedding bells in the distance. Will they fully come out as an official couple or will Rihanna just be his 'creative partner', we'll have to wait and see.

Demi Lovato Announced Her New Pronouns

Pop singer Demi Lovato took to social media to share their new identity and pronouns. They now identify as nonbinary with their pronouns being they/them. It's a revelation that comes after many years of "healing and self-reflective work", they said soon after the release of their YouTube docu-series, Dancing With the Devil. Although fans have mixed responses towards it, one thing is for sure is that all the Lovatics love seeing a healthy and happy Demi. Kobe Bryant Get Inducted Into Hall of Fame

The infamous basketball player's legacy lives on with his latest induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. It was a very monumental moment for many, from fans to NBA players and staff. Many of them getting a chance to speak about him and the memories they made throughout the years. Kobe's wife, Vanessa Bryant, then closed the ceremony with her speech. "I wish my husband was here to accept this incredible award," she said. Forever the MVP.

On top of everything else, we didn't get to dive into news like the Anti-Vax aggression after COVID, Friends cast members reunite on set, The Bachelorette's first openly bisexual lead, Olivia Rodrigo's album "SOUR" released hitting major top charts, the reboot of iCarly, and so much more you can look up at the click of a Google search button.


Did we leave anything out? Let us know your favorite releases and moments from this month in the comments.


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