It started with a bunch of maxed-out credit cards, a stock of black-and-white film, and an eager young director who had just dropped out of film school in Vancouver. Kevin Smith had the right sense of humor, the right amount of talent, and the two disaffected register jockeys who hung around a convenience store pontificating about their lack of direction and saying “fuck.” A lot. It won at Cannes, got picked up at Sundance, and became a focal point for the slacker generation. Almost 15 years later, Smith decided that Dante and Randal, the clerks in question, needed an epilogue to their misspent youth.MORE from Penthouse
In 1990 rapper Ice Cube appeared on “Burn Hollywood Burn,” by the controversial rap act Public Enemy. Sixteen years later, Cube (né Oshea Jackson) is more likely to earn from Hollywood than burn it. The 36-year-old Renaissance man is an actor, director, screenwriter, and executive producer whose projects include such cinematic notables as Friday, Barbershop, and Three Kings. Next year he’ll star in the title role in the Welcome Back, Kotter movie. Even after years of music and motion picture success, Cube is just as determined to deliver social commentary as he was back when he was writing classic rap albums like AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. Today his delivery is far from “Fuck tha Police.” Cube and his production company, Cubevision, are using projects like his FX reality series, Black. White., and a new album, Laugh Now, Cry Later, to get his message to the masses.MORE from Penthouse
It’s two hours before the doors open at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles for Avenged Sevenfold’s sold-out performance, and a dark-haired dancer in tight, low-slung sweatpants and black high heels is hanging upside down on a pole with her legs spread. She holds the pose, suspended, while another dancer steps back and looks her over with curiosity. Then she throws both legs on top of a metal cage, dangles upside down, and shakes her head back and forth. Behind her, stagehands wrestle with a series of backdrops and a technician struggles with a fog machine. Suddenly, a second fog machine spews a dense cloud, covering the stage, and a strobe light ﬂashes intermittently.
Somewhere amid the fog and strobe lights roam the members of Avenged Sevenfold. Bassist Johnny Christ, with his hair freshly dyed flamingo pink, runs through lines on his bass while guitarists Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates noodle on their guitars and prowl the grated metal ramps that wind around their drummer, the Rev.MORE from Penthouse
Hannibal Buress delivers wry, sly, and frequently hilarious jokes on topics such as ramen noodles, pickle juice, his desire to kick pigeons, and the protocols of gangsta rap—all in a style that’s so laid-back he’s been accused of being stoned onstage. His reply to that particular accusation? “I’m not stoned, I’m just cooler than you.”MORE from Penthouse