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Exclusive: Andre Benjamin Reveals How He Became Jimi Hendrix

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The often reclusive Andre Benjamin has returned to the spotlight in 2014, stepping into the shoes of rock legend Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming film, Jimi: All is By My Side.

HipHollywood caught up with Benjamin on the red carpet for the film’s premiere to find out how he went from rap legend to rock legend.

“I read a couple of biographies, watched him do some interviews on American television just so I could get his mannerisms down,” explained Benjamin. “So I just took as much found information as I could get my hands on and did my impersonation or my take on Hendrix.”

Benjamin also learned how to play the guitar with his left hand, and went on a strict diet to play the rock star who died at the tender age of 27 years old. Director John Ridley told us he chose to focus on Hendrix’s life from 1966-1967, just as he was making his mark on the London music scene and emerging into an international rock star.

“I wanted to spend as much time as possible examining the individual instead of framing 27 years into 2 hours,” explained Ridley, who also wrote 12 Years a Slave. “I think with this film people will come away with a deeper understanding of this individual, as opposed to us giving them things they already know.”

Jimi: All Is By My Side hits theaters September 26th. So what’s next for Benjamin? He told us he’s not sure yet, but more music from Outkast is not in the plans.

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Review: ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ Is Bigger & Better Than The First

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If you liked Kingsman:The Secret Service, get ready for The Golden Circle. Hands downs this Kingsman is bigger, badder and better than the first.

Director Matthew Vaughn really takes it up a notch and gives fans much more action and fight sequences. Right off the top we see Eggsy (Taron Egerton) in this amazing car chase scene that will have you applauding as soon as the Prince track ends.

And while we’re talking music the film has an amazing sound track. And if you didnt know, Elton John is also in the film acting and singing some of his classic tunes.

What I also loved were the new editions.  Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Pedro Pascal who play the Statesmen – the American version of the Kingsman –  and the dynamic between the two is pretty comical. Vaughn really explores the difference between the two cultures – mannered men in suits versus macho men in jeans and cowboy boots.

Then there’s Julianne Moore who plays the villain, she’s like this maniacal Martha Stewart esque drug lord and she’s quite good at it.

Now there are some obnoxious moments (like that sex scene between Egerton and Poppy Delevigne).  But I think that’s the point. This franchise is all about turning the spy genre on it’s head and introducing the younger generation to a new type of Bond flick … And we think they are going to love it.

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