Lena Waithe And Melina Matsoukas’s ‘Queen & Slim’ Is Modern Day Shakespeare

 

Queen & Slim Brooklyn Screening

Source: Jennifer Johnson / Universal

Queen & Slim is the epic new-age love story of our time that comes once every few decades. 

Related: Lena Waithe & Halle Berry To Executive Produce Forthcoming ‘Boomerang’ Series

The romantic suspense is a modern version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet illustrated with compelling images of black love and community told through a poetic-like structure. 

“I want him to love me so deeply I’m not afraid to show him how ugly I can be. I want him to show me scars I never knew I had.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5Y6Mjmllah/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

Although Ernest”Slim” and Angela “Queen” are often referred to as the black Bonnie and Clyde throughout the film, their characters are far from outlaws rebelling against the law. 

These two star-crossed lovers —played by British actors Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith —are drawn to each other in their attempts to escape the injustices found in America’s justice system after a deadly encounter of police brutality. 

Kaluuya and Turner-Smith bring themes of love, community, and mindfulness to life with their on-screen chemistry.

She’s a loner moved only by fact, and he’s a family man driven by faith. Yet, their opposition is the main factor that drives them towards psychological healing and freedom. 

The film does a great job of stressing the importance of finding joy in the journey to one’s destination— making the characters’ run from the law seem like a spiritual road trip destined by fate. 

Watching the lovers relish recklessly in present time as they stop to ride horses and dance at neighborhood juke joints, leaves you wondering when was the last time you lived in the moment. 

 

 

The tragic love story ends with an expected yet surprising slaying of the film’s protagonists that startles viewers in true horror film fashion as they are forced to mourn the characters that everyone grew to love.

Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas call this film a form of “protest art,” nearly hitting theaters on the 5th anniversary of Tamir Rice’s death. 

12-year-old Rice was shot by 26-year-old police officer Timothy Loehmann in Cleveland, Ohio for playing with a toy gun. 

Although the film has a slow build-up, the female powerhouse does an excellent job of capturing an iconic black love story in a film that showcases what it means to be black in current-day America. 

That’s why we’re giving this film 4 out of 5 stars. Catch Queen & Slim in theaters now! 

Chip Kelly Isn’t A Racist, He Just Despises Social Media Flexin’ [Opinion]

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

 

Let’s get this out the way immediately when it comes to Chip Kelly and the Riley Cooper situation, he in no way shape or form should be on the Philadelphia Eagles. Period. What he said was despicable, and should not be tolerated in any work place in this country. No excuse is plausible enough to even justify using such a vial word in any instance, drunk, angry, anything. If Chip Kelly were to have just released Cooper after the incident, or let him go as a free agent the following year, the comments made by LeSean McCoy couldn’t even be discussed as reasonable. But Chip Kelly did in fact let Cooper stay on the team, and even allowed him to get a new contract to stay around for the next few years. This is something I will never understand and can’t sit here and justify it in any way.

Lets dig deeper into this issue, rather than just look at it on surface alone. The questions still come up frequently in Philadelphia sports talk, what reason does Chip Kelly have to release superstars like LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson? Who is this college coach coming into the NFL thinking he can win on his system alone, when we all know as die hard football fans it takes talent to win championships!

But when you really look at it, yes talent is always needed, but when your at the top of your profession, isn’t everyone talented? What differentiates between dynasty football teams, and constant bottom feeders? It’s a plan, it’s a mind state, it’s a culture, and this is what Chip Kelly is beginning to shape into form as how he see’s it fit.

There are two players I want to solely focus on when it comes to this study, and that is Jackson and McCoy. Was it talent, certainly not. Was it race? Well Chip Kelly did just draft 5 black players out of 6 in the 2015 draft. So probably not. Then what else could it be? To me, the answer lies in one place, the Internet, and the infiltration of social media into our everyday lives.

Philadelphia Eagles v Miami Dolphins

Source: Marc Serota / Getty

Culture is defined as “a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business).” This is what Chip Kelly is now establishing. He came into the league, and essentially played his first 2 seasons with the players Andy Reid brought in and developed, his culture. When the Eagles brought in a “new boss”, they knew they were also bringing in a new culture, because the old one wasn’t working (no playoff wins since 2008).

So, in comes Chip Kelly, a man who wants his type of players. Lots of moves have been made and questioned, but I want to compare the two players let go by Chip, with the two players Chip essentially replaced them with, Jordan Mathews and Demarco Murray and why the internet holds those answers  to the questions eagles fans are searching for.

It’s called social media, and it is still in such its early stages of understanding. We are finally starting to see people, places, and things in an all-new light, including celebrities and athletes who garner millions of views from people all over the globe.

Let’s take a look at Jordan Mathews social media accounts compared to DeSean Jackson. First off, it seems Jordan Mathews once had an Instagram, but seemed to delete it sometime while in college or prior to entering the NFL, (smart man). On Mathews Twitter account (@jmattjmattjmatt), you can see the only things he seems concerned about in his social media life are two things, his career/ improving his craft as a NFL wide receiver, and his love for Kanye West (again smart man).

Compared to DeSean, @OneOfOne on IG, Jackson is an infamous Instagram flexor. He does post a lot of pictures and videos of him working out, but then there is also those frequent pictures of DJack in the club, DJack hanging out with so and so, DJack stunting in his Benz, to whatever DJack feels like posting. And if you remember, Jackson posted some subtle shots on social media when a problem arose with him and Kelly (always a bad idea).

Let’s use this past weekend, the biggest day in sports (May 2, 2015) for example. On social media, DeSean is out in Vegas for the fight, and continues to flaunt that lifestyle. Out at a club, living it up. Compared to Kelly’s choice, Mathews.

Just a bunch of encouraging comments to new NFL players during the draft, made one bland statement about the fight, and asked why it feels like I’m about to play Tekken… DeSean on the other hand, two words, Vegas Baby.

Oh and he now has a reality show, well in his words, “a mini-documentary series” coming out this year.

Now lets take a look at Shady McCoy’s replacement, Demarco Murray. If he has an Instagram page, it’s harder to find then Waldo. There may be a page with his name, but has zero posts. Let’s take a look at Twitter. Demarco Murray (@DeMarcoMurray) only has 732 tweets, a few pictures of him and football, and a sprinkling of some off the field activities such as endorsements and family. Let’s look at his “big sports weekend” like we did with Mathews and Jackson. Well Murray hasn’t tweeted since April 7th.

We all know the turmoil Shady has had when it comes to social media and using it in all the wrong ways. As well as the infamous 18-cent tip that went viral.

Let’s take it all back to using last weekend as a “reason” of why Chip Kelly got rid of Jackson and McCoy. How was Shady acting on social media during the NFL draft and the “biggest weekend in sports?” Well, if you didn’t see the username, you probably couldn’t tell the difference between McCoy and Jackson’s social media actions.

Now, is Chip Kelly basing his football culture off of social media? Probably not. But we need to dig deeper then just throwing out terms like “racism” with little to back that claim up, especially when trying to explain Chip Kelly’s decisions on a football field. To imply racism cheapens its meaning of the term in a world and country where real problems truly do lie. I am the same age as DeSean and LeSean, so I do not want to come off as some old guy mad at young men out enjoying there life and sharing their moments on social media like millions of others do everyday. There is also no problem and going out and enjoying your off season. But when you think about it, on average, NFL players at best have 10 seasons to make money for the rest of their lives. You can live it up when its all over, don’t you want players on your Philadelphia Eagles that only care about football at this stage of their life? Did we see Dawkins out at the club? Did we see Brian Westbrook “turnt up” in Vegas? No, and it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, but there was never a medium created at that time that gave access like Instagram and Twitter do today. So whether players were doing that type of stuff or not, it wasn’t thrown in your face like it is today because of the new “TMZ” world we live in.

Let’s make this as simple as possible. If you have groups of young 20 year old players every year coming into the Philadelphia Eagles locker room each season, a whole bunch of wide eyed college students who just received more money then they have ever seen in their entire lives, need veterans to look to and mold how they are going to go about there career. In a nut shell, do you want the players looking up to guys like Mathews and Murray, who solely based on their social media accounts, care about two things, football and family, and in Jordan’s case, Kanye West.

Comparing that scenario to LeSean and DeSean, who clearly are about that superstar, look at me, celebrity lifestyle. They love being famous, and can be questioned based off of their social media accounts, maybe as much as football. And this is a culture Kelly isn’t going to allow to be established.

Does it mean he will win because of this so called “culture”? No, of course it doesn’t, and this may completely backfire in his face. And if that does happen, fans will brutalize him. But until that happens, insinuating racism in a culture that is festered monthly by tragic tails riddled in racist acts just isn’t fare.

Now some of this article is slightly written in tongue and cheek, do I know if Chip Kelly even pays attention to social media for a fact? Of course not, but I want people to look at this situation in a deeper magnitude rather than just pointing fingers and saying, 2 black players were released, Chip must have a problem with black people, making him a racist, which to me, is a shallow way of thinking, especially when it comes to the importance of dealing with racism.

I used the social media aspect as an example because today, for right or wrong, it seems sometimes the way people see others and their lifestyles is through their social media accounts. When it comes to the two players released, it’s clear they enjoy football, but seem to love themselves and the outside privileges that come with being in the NFL. Equated to their replacements, Mathews and Murray, who are all football all the time, and live a much more simplistic life based off their social media accounts, just like the head honcho, Chip Kelly, who eats and sleeps football 24/7.

Is Chip Kelly a perfect GM and football coach so far, nope, but is he a racist, no, does he despise the new societal norm of social media and flexin’ on the gram with the millennial culture, that answer appears to be very apparent. The Chip Kelly saga continues on, and only time will tell, which is the right way to handle the new era of football players and the power of a brand new outlet that coaches, bosses, corporations, etc. are continuing to learn and adapt with during a new technological era that we live in, and because of its infancy, we continue to try and learn the proper ways of using such a powerful outlet, and that, is where the problem lies. Sometimes it goes beyond the surface, and isn’t as simple as saying something is just black and white.

words by Justin Engelhardt @justinthomasmedia 

I Came For The Caffeine, Not The Race Chats

US-ECONOMY-RETAILER-STARBUCKS

Source: JEWEL SAMAD / Getty


It’s 7:00 a.m., you’re feeling barely alive, and you need a mighty jolt of caffeine to properly prepare you for the morning. Is that the best time to talk to your server about institutionalized racism and white supremacy? Would you like a shot of espresso coupled with a brief chat about the tenets of racial equality? Or that Oprah chai I keep hearing about?

I don’t want any of these things, so for all of CEO Howard Schultz’s intentions, I’m not sure what pushing Starbucks baristas to talk race with the stores’ customers will accomplish.

On the company’s website about the #RaceForward initiative, the site explains that Schultz saw what was happening in cities like Ferguson, New York, and Oakland and felt that, “We at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America.” However, “Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are.”

So, you’d like to discuss race in America based on instances of racial unrest tied to discrimination in the aforementioned cities, but “not to point fingers or to place blame.” In essence, this is encouraging banter but not serious or arguably meaningful conversation.

How American, indeed.

To have a real conversation about race in America is to discuss racism. Without looking at an issue wholly, you are having nothing more than superficial dialogue. It would be like first date conversation, only the kind the results in you never seeing that person again. Ever.

To be fair to Starbucks, the store does notable charity work and is now helping some of its baristas cover the costs of college. This comes across as an extension of their commitment to community. Even so, for many a working class or poor neighborhood resident, a new Starbucks is the first sign that a change is going to come — that will more than likely displace them. The CEO of Starbucks would probably find himself in an awkward conversation discussing this reality. Can you imagine what a barista might face if they write “Race Forward” on a cup and someone dares to inquire?

Speaking of these baristas, already there is a hashtag #StarbucksRaceTheory in which someone and likely others will share their experiences with uh, racially insensitive Starbucks workers. Most of them are not equipped to discuss such complicated matters. They’re collecting a check (that should probably be bigger) and the customers just want caffeine (to go collect a check that should probably be bigger, too).

We should not complicate this formula to assuage the guilt of white liberals. White liberals who are diverse in their worker base, but not in their executive offices. Per the Starbucks website, one partner said, “The current state of racism in our country is almost like humidity at times. You can’t see it, but you feel it.” Many of us feel it damn near every day of our lives. What is your barista going to do about it? What makes you think I want to talk about it anyway?

Again, it is nice in theory, but execution matters. I like the idea of the company having an “all-hands meeting at the Starbucks Support Center, where people of various backgrounds congregated to share their experiences.” That sort of dialogue does matter and is effective, but that is a prime example of having a proper forum.

For those that do want to talk about race during a coffee run, have at it. However, if I see “Race Forward” written on my cup, I’m running past that convo. This is why I stick to the bodega coffee anyway. It’s cheaper, just as effective, and conversation is limited to telling each other to have a good day. That’s all I need in that moment.

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem, and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him @youngsinick.

SEE ALSO:

So This Is Happening: Starbucks Plans To Serve Side Of Race Relations With Coffee

10 Tweets From The Brothersphere

Coates

 

These days the “Twitterverse” is inescapable and who can believe that just a decade ago the term “tweet” was still associated with birds. But lucky for us all, the universe created by the microblogging site can be broken down into smaller worlds, hence the concept of “Black Twitter.” Well, this week, let’s break it down even further into what I’d like to call the “Brothersphere,” which is just a way of looking at thought leadership among African-American males, particularly those who focus on achievement or progressive concepts. Consequently, here are 10 on Twitter that I thought gives us a good entry in to this small, but growing world of social media discussion among Black men.

SEE ALSO: Hard Bop Jazz Icon Horace Silver Dead At 85

 

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans wants you to know the story of Leonard Galmon who is on his way to Yale after rising from some precarious circumstances in his New Orleans neighborhood.

 

Larry E. Thomas, CEO of Thomas Mentorship Academy in North Carolina, feels grassroots community programs should be better funded.

 

Educational speaker and author Baruti K. Kafele is giving instructions to school leaders on how to empower Black males in the school system.

 

Ta-Nehisi Coates (pictured), whose article, “The Case for Reparations,” for The Atlantic has elicited heated debate over the topic looks three decades in to the future.

 

SiriusXM radio host Joe Madison points out that health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is fairly inexpensive for most Americans.

 

Former NAACP chief Ben Jealous challenges us to live for freedom today.

 

Dorian Burton, Harvard University education scholar and co-founder of TandemEd, a Harvard educational innovation lab focused on urban communities, touts the possibilities of turnaround for Black boys. (And check out his essay on what America’s greatest lie really is.)

 

Actor and vocalist Tyrese Gibson, whose Facebook videos have been making viral web rounds, is keeping the inspiration hammer swinging.

 

Here’s Columbia University professor Chris Emdin, who is showing students how to combine science and hip-hop, talking about giving teachers the right tools.

 

And finally, NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, a supporter of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education is offering a Flipbook on how to implement the learning philosophy.

 SEE ALSO: ‘Notorious’ Actor Marc John Jefferies Speaks Out Against Gun Violence

Where Were Your Boys?: The Funky J & KRS-One Debacle

KRS One

“Ignorance is bliss” has got to be one of the most inaccurate phrases in the history of the human language. That’s probably true, right up until it’s NOT. Ignorance isn’t being stupid, that’s an inability to learn. Ignorance is what you don’t know, and the fact is that most times, what you haven’t learned will have you embarrassed. But what you don’t know can and will get you not just hurt but dragged, mangled, maimed, stomped into wine and F.U.B.A.R. aka

Fugged

Up

Beyond

All

Recognition.

In other words… HURT.

hulksmash

Enter Cali MC Funky J. an up and coming rapper, originally from Ohio who migrated out to Cali. Active in KRS-One’s Temple Of Hip-Hop, J Considers himself a Protege to The Teacha… which makes the following even more baffling…

[ione_embed src=//www.youtube.com/embed/NVIBwxEZD9c service=youtube width=640 height=390 type=iframe]
During a recorded conversation we see Funky J attempting some halfway gangster tactics on none other than Hip-Hop legend and Bronx native KRS-One. Basically, after a van was stolen that belonged to J, along with twenty stacks that belonged to KRS, Funky J’s ignorance told him that it would be a great decision to leave a note on KRS’s front door stating; “If I find out you had anything to do with this, it’s on.”

This is where the bliss ends.

The conversation picks up with KRS-One informing J that he’s decided it IS on, RIGHT NOW. Then The Teacha decides to remove the ignorance by reminding J of a few things. One, he would break his neck, blow his mouth off, would end up face down on the ground and that the smartest thing he could do was get his gun back from Lion because Hip-Hoppers “get it first.” KRS even goes so far as to ask if he DID pull up in J’s stolen van, autographed by KRS-One himself, “what would you do?” after J admits, “hop in the passenger seat” the rest of the talk finds him playing hopscotch between not looking like a punk and moonwalking away from an all-too-happy-to-manhandle-a-rapper O.G. that he pissed off. J’s bliss is now in orbit… right next to the jig. And there’s only one question left unanswered…

Fam, Where were your boys?

shaking_head_breaking_bad

How in the hell can you claim to be a Hip-Hop lover and not know that KRS-One is NOT the guy to get tough with?! Nobody  ever showed you the cover of “Criminal Minded”? They didn’t tell you that B.D.P. originally stood for “Beat Down Posse” and that “Boogie Down Productions” was the Disney version?? There was no friend in your phone who could have told you KRS had ratchets in his videos before it was cool? That despite the tough talk, most rappers wouldn’t bust a grape in fruit fight while KRS has gone on stage during someone else’s show and thrown them off?? That he’s rolled crew deep into shows, terrorizing cats on the scene for, like… EVER?

You know what? Never mind the past… have you seen some of the recent KRS-One interviews? Can you not see that KRS is just a tad bit… off? This is the man whose house you decided to leave a threatening note at? This 6’4”, former homeless shelter resident has spent his entire life putting hands on people and gets a kick outta pounding out rappers—and you qualify as BOTH? Your thought was that you were going to take a stick and poke Hip-Hop’s original Gucci Mane and line yourself up for a righteous and educated ass-whooping??

krs one gif

Getting into it with KRS-One in 2014 and still expecting peace is about as smart as leaving drugs around Lil Wayne and still expecting to get high. Both are mistakes that could have been avoided if you only had the common sense to pay attention… or friends around to tell you better. Looks like this guy is gonna need a double shot of both. Happy New Year Bruh… smh

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From Marcy To Manhattan: Are We Expecting Too Much From Shawn “Jay Z” Carter? [OPINION]

A Split Screen of Jay Z In the 90s and now

 

As far as rap music is concerned, Jay Z is arguably one of the top five artists to ever do it. I would not have been able to predict this back when I heard him for the first time — on his mentor Jaz-O’s single “Hawaiian Sophie” — with his moderately mediocre rapid-fire staccato flow and gold tooth, but greatness doesn’t normally begin in one big bang. True greatness takes time to grow, undergoing the proper maturation, trials, and tribulations it needs to be pushed and stretched into its unforeseen destiny. It’s similar to why babies aren’t born as adults.

Nevertheless, Jay Z’s journey has taken him from alleged urban medicine man, gun-toting goon on wax to full-blown multimedia made man. Upon marrying Beyonce, he became virtually untouchable on several levels of existence (kudos, Mr. Carter) and anyone disputing that fact is surely observing life through a filter of jealousy and denial. He has outrightly transcended all but a few of his contemporaries on a business level and quite frankly, is still a better rapper than whoever you’re listening to while you read this.

Jay Z no longer represents the projects; he represents what you can do with your life even if you come from the projects, and for that positive imagery we should be grateful.

Shawn Carter d/b/a Jay Z has shifted the MC-to-mogul paradigm over the last 20 or so years, and in the process positioned himself to garner all the attention that naturally accompanies such accolades. For what it’s worth, today’s rappers are perceived as the new era politicians, modern-day civil rights gladiators, as well as the cultural taste makers and trail blazing innovators that certain societies look upon for direction and guidance, whether they accept such social responsibility or shun it. Most rappers prefer to shun it, but that’s neither here nor there.

Between being friends with both President Barack Obama AND Queen Mother Oprah Winfrey and his many fiscal adventures and investments, Jay Z also has a business relationship with Barneys clothing store. Per Jiggaman himself via lifeandtimes.com: “The Shawn Carter Foundation is the beneficiary and the foundation is receiving 25% of all sales from the collaboration, 10% of all sales generated in the store on November 20th and an additional donation from Barneys. This money is going to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships to help further their education at institutions of higher learning.”

Barneys is currently under fire for an incident that occurred early this year when an African-American woman named Kayla Phillips was “surrounded by police officers” after she left the store having purchased a $2,500 Celine handbag. Another Barneys-related incident this year involved 19 year-old Trayon Christian, who purchased a $350 Ferragamo belt with his debit card only to later be detained and questioned by the cops regarding the purchase. Racial profiling and civil harassment is nothing new to the minority diaspora covering America’s finicky soil, but these occurrences — and many others like them — have put a spotlight on the unwarranted racism and blatant disrespect that beams and radiates under the USA’s communal surface.

Jay adamantly states that the relationship between Barneys and his foundation is purely for the people, not the profit, yet many in the urban community demand he sever ties with Barneys after the nationwide outrage was sparked last week. In a press release publicized via lifeandtimes.com, Jay says he isn’t going to rush into a judgmental decision to split with the clothing store and is waiting on the “facts” regarding the situation. He then goes on to say that without the facts, he’s unable to make any official statements, and explained ever so eloquently that he doesn’t appreciate being “demonized, denounced and thrown on the cover of a newspaper for not speaking immediately.” The remainder of his press release points out that the only individuals who would be affected by break-up between Barneys and his foundation would be those underprivileged kids who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to receive an upper echelon education. Sounds fair enough, especially when we eliminate the “should’s” and “could’s” from the equation and analyze the nucleus of facts involved.

Jay is a self-admitted ex-drug dealer who makes his lust for the finer things in life painfully clear on almost every song he records. Even if he does have the exposure and the power to be a voice of the people, he’s not one. And we shouldn’t expect him to be one, either. His only responsibility in this world is to his family and the Illuminati, and at the end of the day, it’s his prerogative who and what he fights for. Contrary to popular belief, rappers are entertainers, no different than magicians or athletes. Some become bigger than the culture itself, but unless it’s naturally the road they travel, it’s unfair to foist any extracurricular objectives upon them and expect them to do our bidding. It’s kind of like President Obama’s first two years in office, when people expected him to do amazing things for Black people because he is part Black. Color had nothing to do with his occupation of choice or his personal agenda, even though it would’ve been nice to get a little help from an inside man, so to speak. We expected certain things from “our” president, never got them, and begrudgingly held him accountable for our disappointments. The key word in all of this being “our.” In the same vein, we shouldn’t hold any rapper — much less an uber-rich, ultra famous one — accountable for what we feel is socially right or wrong, even if it is obviously wrong and demands the necessary attention. Ask yourself a question: would you deviate from your plans for success and personal gains just to appease the common man’s plights for conquest?

On another note, the same folks clamoring about how Jay should handle his personal/business affairs are the same ones who didn’t say anything whatsoever when he took Oprah to his old stomping grounds where he admittedly peddled drugs to people of color. No matter how you spin it, that was glorification on Jay’s behalf as well as Queen Winfrey’s. And if you breakdown the specifics into generalities, there is no socio-political difference between Jay Z selling dope to Black people and him staying in cahoots with a company who clearly doesn’t like Black people, is it?

If we truly want a voice to fight the power along side us — the civilians and pedestrians — then we need to look to more down-to-earth vessels that remember and possibly still experience the struggles of Joe Everybody, not one who has songs based on million dollar daydreams who actually lives the life he brags about. This is in no way a shot in Shawn Carter’s direction as much as it is a recognition of the disconnect between him and the village that was obvious to most of us long before that girl bought a $2,500 handbag. Jay Z no longer represents the projects; he represents what you can do with your life even if you come from the projects, and for that positive imagery we should be grateful.

Let’s not forget that Jay set up the Shawn Carter Foundation to help those young people who can’t help themselves, and whether he’s taking donations from Barneys or a star-studded $500-a-plate celebrity dinner, his original intentions were admirable. Unfortunately for him, though, it’s quickly escalating into a “no good deed goes unpunished” episode of “you can’t win for losing.”

Ultimately, Jay still hasn’t said whether he would cut ties with Barneys, and if he’s smart (which should be without question), he’ll just sit back and wait for the melee to melt over, like most things these days eventually do, no matter how terrible they are. Speaking of which, seeing as though he previously spoke in honor of Trayvon Martin’s tragic death, maybe he should drop a song dedicated to all these tasteless wastes of flesh and bone who are savagely dressing as Trayvon’s corpse for Halloween. Not only would it take the attention away from this fiasco, but it’s definitely a worthy cause, even if Halloween will be over on Friday.

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HAVE A SEAT: Shyne, Gucci Mane & Soulja Boy Are The Black Donald Trumps

It’s a tried and true formula for a rapper to pick a fight with a peer when they get close to an album release to drum up news.  But sometimes it’s just for lack of attention or trying to get back on the relevant page.

For the most part we have been ignoring the recent desperate pleas of rappers looking for attention, but it’s reaching near epidemic proportions. Each diss is coming off more ridiculous than the last. It’s like when Donald Trump offered President Obama $5 Million to show his papers like a freed slave and continues to pout because no one seems to care–especially the President. The moves reek of desperation and only underline how irrelevant the instigator is.

Shyne was one of the first to put his foot in his mouth calling Kendrick Lamar’s new album, good kid m.A.A.d City “trash.” In a classic case of hating from outside the club, the exiled former Bad Boy has less than a leg to stand on, as no one has given his comeback attempts any real thought. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but he comes off more like a bitter old man with a grudge against the industry than anyone with any credibility.

Here is a recent song from Kendrick’s new album and you tell us if this qualifies as “Trash.”

Kendrick Lamar, “Sing About Me/Dying Of Thirst”

[ione_embed src=http://www.youtube.com/embed/2DO5SeHQa7g service=youtube width=610 height=315]
Gucci Mane has not only be revitalizing his long standing beef with Young Jeezy, he’s taken shots at Nicki Minaj, Nas, Yo Gotti and French Montana. It all seems totally random until you realize that Lefluer has a new Trap God project out to promote. Is this seat taken? No? Please have it.


And now Soulja Boy has crawled out from the far reaches of Twitter to kick his former brother in shirtlessness Bow Wow while he’s down. He wrote, “Keep it trill, bow wow can’t f*ck wit me no more…I ain’t trying to go broke like (Bow Wow)..”

The online snap referring to Bow Wow’s financial troubles came just hours before Soulja released a new song called “There Goes Soulja.”

In the two years since his last hit, Souja Boy has made more headlines for picking up Lil Scrappy’s sloppy seconds and crying at awards shows than any music he’s put out. So he also needs to have a seat.

From this point on we implore all rap fans to push the “Ignore” button when these requests for attention come through your inbox.

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Bandwagon Fans: What Jay-Z, Rihanna, and White Girl Mob Have in Common


This past Monday’s eve at 11:59 EST, the twitterverse was abuzz with word that Jay Z and Kanye West ‘s Watch the Throne was the best album to be released this year, and possibly the decade. Thousands of hundreds on Facebook agreed. Nothing wrong with being a committed fan, but seeing as it was one of the first highly anticipated albums of the millennium to avoid the plague of premature leakage, my eyebrow immediately raised with the realization the majority of people proclaiming the project’s awesomeness were doing so before they had even heard a single track beyond “Otis.” Instantaneously iconic, when the clock did strike midnight heralding in August 8th, a moment in music’s history officially began as “Hov” and ‘Ye are now tracked to sell more than 500,000 copies, and poised to break iTunes one week sales record which was previously set by Coldplay in 2008.

So here’s the question. Was the music driving the fans or were the fans driving the music? Consider this. A few weeks ago, controversy ensued after news broke that Rihanna had ousted Lady Gaga as Most Popular Mistress on Facebook with a timely boost of 100,000 fan “likes.” What once used to be college play has turned into big business. Pulling receipts, Boston-based viral marketing firm ViralMS.com, which offers a service that allows users to purchase Facebook “fans,” confirmed that for $7,799 someone had indeed bought Rihanna’s popularity for a very specific reason. Perception is Everything. Gaga fans were shook and outraged. Millions of Rihanna fans felt duped. But how mad can one really be when they have allowed their value of an artist to be largely based on how much someone else values them first?  Known as “The bandwagon effect,” scientist say the phenomenon occurs when people often do and believe things merely because many other people do and believe the same things. This is the very odd era we now find ourselves living in.

Which brings us to White Girl Mob. Called “Multimedia Artists”, these three ladies are each very…special. Their online “following” has built them higher than any lyrical foundation they could ever attempt to lay claim to. However the interest in their social status had enough pull that WGM member Kreayshawn signed to Columbia Records earlier this summer with an originally rumored one million dollar recording contract. Feel free to check out one of her illustrious freestyles for yourself and decide if you think she is the proverbial real deal or a great example the bandwagon fan effect is having on the music industry (LINK).

The truth is the dynamic of fans/followers holds major weight in today’s world. Whether one is a superstar artist with record labels shelling out big bucks to secure their social stock; an out of work job seeker looking for employment in a social currency focused economy; or simply a pre-pubescent 7th grader in a small town trying to figure life out. None of us are immune.

Try this quick self-check. Do you count your twitter followers? If so how often? Clock your FB comment likes? Toggle your tumblr #’s on the weekly if not daily? If so, what do these numbers tell you about yourself? If not, how have you avoided the “Bandwagon Effect” so many are succumbing to? We are now forced to contemplate a question very similar to the age old chicken or the egg conundrum…what came first, the artist or the fans?

As for Jay Z and Kanye’s Watch the Throne, I still plan to listen to it…but decided I’m going to wait a bit until the echoing chorus of the band fades out allowing me to better hear their music for myself…

– @SamanthaGberry

Speak YOUR piece on this topic and leave a comment below.

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Frequency News: Inside the Business. . Artists. Radio.

Welcome to the Frequency-News-Sheet (FnS) on The Urban Daily. Our blog is all things industry news related from a fans voice, with an insider’s experience.

Focused on the urban music industry, it keeps you up-to-date on the who, what and where questions about your favorite artists, new music and the industry in general.

THE FREQUENCY NEWS is the official print and digital music industry publication of one of the nation’s largest radio and media conglomerates, Radio One, INC. To find out all things relating to urban and gospel music go to www.frequencynews.com and download the latest edition.

And now we are blogging on our sister site Theurbandaily.com every Monday and Wednesday. On Mondays, we will post the music charts and analyze what is happening with some of your favorite artists and music. And on Wednesdays, our staff writer Samantha Granberry will sound off on a variety of music industry related topics.