President Obama invites the stars to toast museum opening
Tennessee State University’s band performed on the South Lawn to kick off the event
12:00 PMBy the time President Barack Obama took to the podium Friday, the White House floor had been studded with more black stars than ever. Samuel L. Jackson had accidentally photobombed a convo between Kobe Bryant and Rep. John Lewis. Dick Gregory had made his rounds, along with Harry Belafonte. Oprah and Gayle King had graced the room, and Phylicia Rashad had displayed her regal presence. Bob Johnson had done a little glad-handing and Fonzworth Bentley proved why he still is one of the best dressed men in America with his cream jacket-eggplant tie combo. David Adjaye had fielded quite a few compliments for his design work and Jesse Jackson had been moving around so much that he had to take respite on a baby stroller for a bit.
“This is easily the blackest I’ve ever seen this place,” DeRay McKesson joked, in town for a bit before heading to Charlotte, North Carolina. “I love it.”
The afternoon reception at the White House to commemorate the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall was a celebration of blackness that’s rarely been inside the walls of the presidential edifice built by slaves. So much so that the Obamas invited Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands to play on the lawn to kick things off.
Tennessee State is no stranger to big stages. But I doubt we’ll ever see an HBCU’s band transition from Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together to Chance The Rapper’s No Problem and on into Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice just a half-hour or so after a White House press briefing ended across the way.
— Tennessee State Univ (@TSUedu) September 23, 2016
Tennessee State University's band rocking at the White House pic.twitter.com/x0L0a4W7ga
— Fungo Velo (@clintonyates) September 23, 2016
The day before, Obama and the first lady sat down with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts after touring the new museum ahead of its opening. On Friday at the White House, he talked about how important the facility was, as a landmark and a storytelling tool. He noted the team effort it was to get this put together over the years. But while all that black excellence occupied that room, the volatile situations unfolding across the country were not forgotten.
“The timing of this is fascinating,” Obama said. “Because in so many ways, it is the best of times. But in many ways, these are also troubled times. History doesn’t always move in a straight line. And without vigilance, we can go backwards as well as forward. And so part of the reason that I’m so happy the museum is opening this weekend is because it allows all of us as Americans to put our current circumstances in a historical context.”
Earlier this week, the officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher was charged with first-degree manslaughter. On Friday, a video shot by the wife of Keith Lamont Scott was released, unfurling a host of new questions. The president said he hopes the museum can help people in a tangible way.
“My hope is that, as people are seeing what’s happened in Tulsa or Charlotte on television, and perhaps are less
familiar with not only the history of the African-American experience, but also how recent some of these challenges have been, upon visiting the museum, may step back and say, ‘I understand. I sympathize. I empathize,’ ” Obama said. “I can see why folks might feel angry and I want to be part of the solution as opposed to resisting change …
“When I imagine children — white, black, Latino, Asian, Native American — wandering through that museum and sitting at that lunch counter and imagining what it would be like to stand on that auction block, and then also looking at Shaq’s shoes and Chuck Berry’s red Cadillac, my hope is that this complicated, difficult, sometimes harrowing, but I believe ultimately triumphant story will help us talk to each other, and more important, listen to each other, and even more important, see each other and recognize the common humanity that makes America what it is.”
Let’s talk about The Weeknd
He cut his hair, his new song is fire and we ain’t ready
5:35 PMAbęl Makkonen Tesfaye has a new song out and it’s fire. His new album Starboy comes out Nov. 25, but more importantly, he cut his hair. The look fell somewhere between signature and iconic on the importance scale and for him to abandon it at the peak of his powers is nothing short of a bold move.
i come alive in the fall time pic.twitter.com/NHeVl3Q7Nn
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) September 21, 2016
In the past five years, The Weeknd has gone from a mixtape mystery man to an instantly recognizable international superstar. His dreads were so visually specific to him that even if you only saw a silhouette, you’d know it was him. Now, it’s gone and he’s showing himself off to the world. He also apparently wiped his Instagram, which could mean any number of things, but we’re going to just wildly speculate that he’s trying to put something in his life behind him.
can i skip class in honor of missing the Weeknd's old hair style even though he still looks great af
— Hayley Williams (@HayleyWi11iams) September 21, 2016
The larger question here is: Does he lose some star power overall from this move? Like it or not — because of not only the politics of black hair, but also because it was so different from anyone we typically see in the limelight — his music speaks for itself, and paired with the look, he was a bona fide rock star.
He hinted at this change recently in VMAN magazine, when he did an entire photo shoot with a hoody on. In the interview, he talked about his motivations on the new album. If we’re guessing, after his rather high-profile relationship with Bella Hadid went south, he needed a reset. If his song Starboy is any indication of where his head is, maybe he just wanted to be able to walk down the street without people bothering him, again. A hairstyle that the world can identify from a mile away doesn’t exactly allow for that.
We’ll miss the hair, but we’ll also gladly take another fire album.
Daily Dose: 9/22/16
Charlotte may go into lockdown tonight
1:20 PMI participated in the National Press Club’s Press vs. Politicians Spelling Bee on Wednesday night. The rules were, if you get two wrong, you’re out. Last year, I got third place. This year, I had a tad more fun with it.
Things aren’t getting any better in Charlotte. Protests on Wednesday night turned violent and there are all sorts of questions about what’s going to happen next in North Carolina. There’s talk of the National Guard, but police say they don’t plan to release video of the shooting of Keith Scott. Alas, buildings were looted, fires were set, and a protester was shot with a rubber bullet. Now, the mayor is considering implementing a curfew for the city. ABC News reports on the latest.
Willie Cauley-Stein is down for his squad. The Sacramento Kings center who went to Kentucky is from a small town in Kansas. He grew up with his grandparents and cousins, so he grew accustomed to having people around. But by the time he got to high school, his whole life changed. In order to pursue his dreams of being a basketball player, he had to leave everything behind. Now, as the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft, he’s making an impact on the league. VICE Sports went behind the scenes with Cauley-Stein on his life and journey.
We can all agree that health insurance is a good thing, right? Paying out of pocket for medical expenses is a very easy way to go straight to the poor house for lack of a better term, so being insured is critical. Of course, the battle to get a health care system installed in the country was an epic one, with people on both sides of the aisle embarrassing themselves politically. More importantly, however, is the simple fact that it’s worked. FiveThirtyEight’s Anna Maria Barry-Jester and Ben Casselman report that more people have insurance now.
Richard Sherman is not here for your games. On Wednesday, instead of taking questions about the Seattle Seahawks’ next game against the San Francisco 49ers, he talked at length about the fact that many people are losing sight of what the actual problems are in America by focusing too much on what 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick or any other player is or isn’t doing during the national anthem. Sherman, obviously a man who has no problem speaking his mind, then just left after his statement. ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia reports.
Coffee Break: After the disaster that was the situation in Brazil regarding the Olympics, one city has decided, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Rome pulled out of the race for the 2024 Summer Games and the major even went so far as to call his city’s bid for the Olympiad “irresponsible.” Alrighty, then.
Snack Time: We all know Between Two Ferns, the show with Zach Galifianakis acting awkward around famous people. This time, he had Democratic presidential Hillary Clinton on and it was rather
Dessert: There’s new Kaytranada out and it’s right on time for this hectic week.
Colin Kaepernick covers ‘TIME’ magazine
His protest is officially a national discussion point
Say what you want about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s method of protest, it’s certainly been effective. He’s got kids as young as middle schoolers taking knees during the national anthem. He’s pledged to give $100,000 a month to community charities and has gotten people such as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman to walk out of news conferences due to frustration with how black people are treated by police. Retired NFL running back Marshawn Lynch made his point on national television, too.
Now, Kaepernick is on the cover of the October issue of TIME magazine. My man is all the way out here. While Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is making statements in Wingdings on Instagram, as people are getting killed in his very city, Kaepernick is openly discussing the concept dying for the cause and his preparation for said potential. Per his own words, he’s ready to die.
“To me, if something like that were to happen, you’ve proved my point and it’ll be loud and clear to everyone why it happened. And that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now,” he said. Now, we’re waiting to see what the NBA is going to do once its season starts. It’s a real concern for league commissioner Adam Silver.
Kaepernick has shaken up the NFL with his protest. He’s made the act of just wearing his jersey an act of defiance. He’s used the biggest tool the league has — the shield — and made it a symbol of demonstration. Teenagers are getting sent home from work, just for wearing his jersey. He’s weaponized his work outfit for good. The impact of this man’s actions are in no way misguided or unheard of at this point. People are still getting killed, people are still fed up, and he’s still kneeling.
Without playing a down this season, he’s become the most impactful backup the league has ever seen.
Shawty Lo dies in car accident
Two others were hurt in the vehicle the Atlanta rapper was driving
4:35 PMIf you were anywhere near a dance floor in 2007, you are familiar with Shawty Lo’s Dey Know. Perhaps the best actual club banger of the “snap” era of Atlanta hip-hop, the man behind the song is dead, after a car crash in Fulton County. Née Carlos Walker, he was 40. He has been remembered all day around the hip-hop world by fans and contemporaries.
Details of the incident are rather brutal. According to The Associated Press, the car flipped and hit several trees before Walker was ejected from the vehicle, which then burst into flames. Two other women who were passengers escaped the wreckage. On Tuesday night, he had been posting pictures on social media from the Atlanta gentlemen’s club, Blue Flame.
My brother has passed he is no longer here but his spirit, his kind heart , and his music will live on Long live Shawty Lo King of Bankhead
— SHAWTY LO (@THATSSHAWTYLO) September 21, 2016
Shawty Lo was a premier example of how to make it in a certain era of hip-hop without a ton of hit records. Dey Know was so much of a heat rock that it had a remix that was arguably a better song. It also went certified gold. That beat, produced by Balis Beats, is certainly one of the more memorable of its time.
In 2012, he was supposed to star in a show called All My Babies’ Mamas on the Oxygen network, highlighting his life with his 11 children, and their 10 mothers. At the time, many panned it as stereotypical and offensive. I believe that only one episode aired before the show was canceled, but from what I recall, it was actually far less ridiculous that the premise assumed. I wrote as much at the time. Walker, who happened to live in fellow Atlanta rapper T.I.’s neighborhood, was a good dad.
As an original member of rap group D4L and the founder of D4L Entertainment, Shawty Lo was a major player on the Atlanta scene. And his raspy drawl made his voice instantly recognizable on any track that he likely had all your favorite artists making guest appearances on. When it comes to the narrative of rappers who define the evolution and the importance of what the Atlanta sound is, Shawty Lo sits firmly on that timeline.
Check out XXL‘s list of his 20 greatest songs. R.I.P. Shawty Lo.
Daily Dose: 9/21/16
Don King is back stumping for his old pal Donald Trump
Don King has been a professional buffoon for as long as I’ve been alive. The former boxing promoter who is a proud Republican loves all microphones, which sometimes gets him into trouble. Let’s take today for example, when he decided he’d speak at a Donald Trump function. King being King, he got on stage an promptly dropped an N-bomb, which in some regards is really hilarious and in others is extremely unfortunate. Anyway, he said a lot of other really wild stuff, if you want to hear it. He’s still rocking that jacket, too. ABC News has the details.
Every time another black person gets shot and killed by police, you often hear people countering with “what about Chicago?!” Hundreds of people die there every year as a result of gun violence, so for people trying to bury their heads in the sand about the real problems in other parts of this country, it’s an easy way out of an important discussion. Now, the city that’s known for Michael Jordan’s titles is making moves on the law enforcement front. They’re hiring nearly a thousand more officers. ABC News reports.
There’s a presidential debate next week, and it’s going to be a huge deal. To be honest, I can barely visualize a scenario in which Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are actually the lone two people on a stage, discussing something in a decent manner. I fully believe that these things are all going to go completely sideways and Trump won’t be able to help himself when it comes to lobbing baseless insults. As for who wins and loses these things, so to speak, FiveThirtyEight wonders what that even means.
The beef between Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig is tremendous. MadBum is the kind of crotchety dude who thinks the game needs to be played a certain way and is willing to come to blows over these so-called codes. Puig could not care less about that kind of old-school foolishness and is here for all of the bat flips his heart can supply. They ran across each other in their last series, and now Puig’s got jokes. He sent Madison a T-shirt saying “#DONTLOOKATME,” mimicking what Bumgarner said to him. ESPN’s Doug Padilla reports.
Coffee Break: David Simon, creator of The Wire, decided that he wanted to make fun of Sean Hannity on Twitter. In doing so, he decided he wanted to use the N-word (With an A, as he’ll gladly let you know). He then proceeded to condescendingly explain to everyone why it was OK for him to do so. Here’s exactly the reason that it was not.
Snack Time: I am looking forward to Luke Cage more than I have a TV series in a long time. And according to my homey David, it’s the blackest thing Marvel has ever done. You can count me in on that, fam.
Dessert: If you’re in D.C. and want to see me try to spell words, you’re in luck.
Charlotte erupts after police-related shooting
Protestors take to streets after Keith Lamont Scott was killed
12:00 PMOn the evening news, none of the TV stations in Charlotte, North Carolina, cut into coverage. By the 11 p.m. shows, it was all they reported on. On Tuesday afternoon, Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by Charlotte police while they were searching for a different person, who was wanted on outstanding warrants. The news spread across Facebook after Scott’s daughter went live to tell the world exactly what she thinks about the law enforcement in her town. Warning: explicit language.
That’s two black men in two days, shot and killed by police officers over matters that were unrelated to them. The first was Terrence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His name had barely become a trending topic as a hashtag before another one was killed. Scott was 43 years old.
By nightfall, crowds had gathered near where the shooting occurred. They took over the roads and took their protest to Interstate 85. The police broke out the tear gas, then the demonstrators shut down the highway. What’s so depressing about all this is that we now have a basic narrative for everything that happens in these situations. Person gets shot. Mass of people show up in anger. Police attempt to disperse legal gathering. A handful of officers are hurt in the exchange. Twitter takes notice. Law enforcement starts in with smear campaign of victim. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Charlotte police chief says officers gave armed man Keith Lamont Scott 'loud, clear, verbal commands' to drop weapon https://t.co/emIIa1RQ2N
— ABC News (@ABC) September 21, 2016
Scott apparently had a gun, which apparently means he’s a threat. It should be noted that North Carolina is an open-carry state. A permit is NOT required to carry a gun openly in the state. Meaning, outside of profiling and assumptions, this person was doing nothing wrong. It was first rumored that Scott was sitting in his car reading a book when the shooting occurred. According to police, getting in and out of his car with a gun in a neighborhood where there *might* be a criminal was a good enough reason to shoot him. It’s unclear if he pointed the gun or not.
To be clear, here’s why that line of reasoning works with a certain element of the public. Let’s just start with the assertion that black people are dangerous. You have to start there, otherwise, nothing makes sense. Then, we move to the concept of a black person carrying a gun. This is where the extrajudicial and judicial meet. Again, it is perfectly legal to carry a gun openly in North Carolina. But, once this black person, with a gun, is not immediately obedient to an officer’s demands, many folks who consider themselves reasonable people think that’s a decent justification for lethal force. Meanwhile, a guy sets off a bomb in the middle of New York City and manages to not get shot to death by the authorities.
The flurry of recent high-profile shooting prompted United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch to address the matter. “These tragic incidents have once again left Americans with feelings of sorrow, anger and uncertainty,” Lynch said at the annual conference for the International Bar Association. “They have once again highlighted — in the most vivid and painful terms — the real divisions that still persist in this nation between law enforcement and communities of color. And in Charlotte, they have once again led to widespread protest. Unfortunately, we saw several instances of violence during the protests, and 12 police officers and a number of demonstrators were injured as a result. Protest is protected by our Constitution and is a vital instrument for raising issues and creating change. But when it turns violent, it undermines the very justice that it seeks to achieve and I urge those demonstrating in Charlotte to remain peaceful in their expressions of protest and concern.”
In her wide-ranging remarks, she added that the Department of Justice is trying to work in everyone’s best interest. “At the Department of Justice, we are working tirelessly to build trust between law enforcement officers and the communities we serve and we will continue to do so. We will continue to forge dialogue between citizens and police officers. We will continue to do everything we can to give the brave men and women who wear the badge the tools and training they need to do their jobs safely, effectively and fairly. And we will continue to protect the rights and liberties of every American – no matter who they are, what they look like, or what uniform they wear,” she said.
— NBCBLK (@NBCBLK) September 21, 2016
keith lamont scott. terence crutcher. black lives matter. black people matter. black. people. matter.
— Siena (@burntsiena) September 21, 2016
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton plays in Charlotte. Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reps Charlotte. Residents will tell you that Charlotte is vulnerable and not a city particularly ready for this discussion or fight, if it comes to it. The Panthers play the Minnesota Vikings at 1 p.m. in Bank of America Stadium on Sunday. That national anthem ceremony will be a heavily scrutinized one.
All Day Podcast: 9/20/16
Senior writer Mike Wise joins to discuss his story on Joe Paterno’s legacy
5:13 PMWe’ve got a jam-packed podcast this week, highlighted by Undefeated senior writer Mike Wise joining to speak about his courageous column on Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s legacy, and who should get to decide it — survivors of child sexual abuse, like himself.
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | RSS | Embed
Another topic of conversation this week for the podcast crew — host Clinton Yates, staff writer Justin Tinsley and senior style writer Jill Hudson — is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Last week, Clinton went on the media tour of the museum and wrote about it. It might be the best museum the Smithsonian has to offer.
And lastly, coming off of Sunday’s Emmys, everyone shares their favorite moment from the television awards show: from Donald Trump shade to Julia Louis Dreyfus’ heartfelt speech to Courtney B. Vance’s tribute to President Barack Obama.
Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily Dose: 9/20/16
Will black millennials be voting for Hillary Clinton?
You know things are rough when former presidents from your own party aren’t going to vote for you. A new report shows that former President George H.W. Bush has said that he plans to vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, which is hilarious. Meanwhile, Republican nominee Donald Trump’s son is tweeting recklessly about Syria with really bad metaphors about Skittles, of all things. Somehow, this isn’t even close to the worst thing that’s happened to the Trump campaign this week. It was also reported that The Donald is using charity money to pay for his personal business debts. ABC News reports on the 41st president.
Speaking of Hillary, it’s not all rainbows and glitter. She presumably will have a lot of support in the black community, a lot by simple virtue of being a Democrat. A lot more due to the fact that many people just want to see anyone other than another old white guy in the Oval Office. However, it’s not a lock that every black person in America is going to vote for her. I can name at least one who won’t. Anyway, among black millennials, FiveThirtyEight’s Farai Chideya explains why a vote for the left isn’t a lock.
It can be a cold world in these lunch room streets. If you’re a kid, you’ve got bullies, other kids and weird food to deal with. And the latter, if you’re lucky. In some school districts, policies force kids to go hungry if their parents haven’t paid up. It’s a vicious life lesson that’s taught pretty early, apparently: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. However, one Pennsylvania school cafeteria employee has had enough. She walked away from her job over what she calls a lunch shaming policy, which she thought was too much to bear.
We need to have a little chat about Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. This man is doing everything right at the moment and is great to watch. I don’t normally spend much time carving out slots in my schedule to watch college games, but for this man, I will. He DESTROYED Florida State last week and Louisville has Marshall coming up next. It’s Saturday night at 8 p.m. in case you’re wondering. Anyway, he’s absolutely at the top of the Heisman Watch list and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey is a distant second.
Coffee Break: If you haven’t seen Mr. Robot by now, what are you doing? The homey Rami Malek just won an Emmy for his role in the USA Network show. His speech was dope, too. Anyway, that show has a tremendous soundtrack, as well, if you want to know the history behind that.
Snack Time: Corrine Bailey Rae is a national treasure, and it’s been more than five years since her last album came out. But her Tiny Desk Concert is truly glorious. You need to watch that.
Dessert: Progress! Terrible grammar, but one step at a time, now.
Locker Room Lawyer, Episode 8: John Wall
Was the Washington Wizards point guard wrong for wearing a Cowboys jersey to a Redskins game?
1:12 PMIn this week’s edition of Locker Room Lawyer, Clinton Yates and Domonique Foxworth take the case of Washington Wizards point guard John Wall to The Undefeated courtroom.
Last Sunday, Wall attended a matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, wearing a blue throwback Emmitt Smith Cowboys jersey. Yup, that’s right. The point guard of Washington, D.C.’s, NBA team is a fan of the biggest rival of the nation capital’s NFL team.
Many fans immediately deemed Wall to be guilty of treason. But at The Undefeated, everyone has the right to a fair trial, and there’s only one person qualified to defend an athlete’s questionable actions: the Locker Room Lawyer himself, Mr. Domonique Foxworth.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 18, 2016
Check out the video, and if you have any professional athlete in mind (past or present) who needs the Locker Room Lawyer’s representation, feel free to email us at email@example.com with episode ideas. Also, check out our weekly All Day Podcast.
‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ didn’t make a difference for Terence Crutcher
Video footage shows another black life taken by police
12:12 PM“Hands up, don’t shoot!”
Since 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, 2014, this phrase has become the unofficial slogan for the Black Lives Matter movement and stand against police brutality in America. Whether or not Brown actually mouthed the words “Don’t shoot!” before he was murdered is not really the point here. The point is this phrase represents the harsh reality that, as we’ve seen time and time again, even when an African-American is in compliance with police — even when hands are raised to the sky — a life is still in jeopardy.
Last Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Terence Crutcher, a 40-year-old unarmed black man, had his hands up. A white police officer shot him. Crutcher was killed.
We shout hands up, don't shoot. They say hands up, don't matter. #TerenceCrutcher
— Travon Free (@Travon) September 19, 2016
On Monday, the Tulsa Police Department released video footage of the moments leading up to Crutcher’s death. One video shows footage taken from the dashcam inside one of the police vehicles that responded to reports of an abandoned vehicle blocking a road. The other video shows footage from a surveillance helicopter.
WARNING: These videos contains graphic content and may be upsetting to some viewers.
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Unlike in the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in July, the video captured was not taken by civilian bystanders. In the case of Crutcher’s murder, the videos are official police footage. “Looks like a bad dude, too,” you can hear one helicopter pilot say seconds before seeing Crutcher fall to the ground.
As horrific as it is to see yet another black man gunned down, there is a level of accountability that this police footage sheds light upon. Since the videos were released, the Tulsa Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the shooting and the U.S. Department of Justice has launched a separate civil rights investigation.
— Philip Lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) September 20, 2016
Cops in video calling #TerenceCrutcher a "big bad dude" = just more proof that the FEAR of black people informs the level of FORCE by police
— Robin Thede (@robinthede) September 19, 2016
If there wasn't the video I'm sure they would've told us that #TerenceCrutcher lunged at them & that they feared for their lives.
— deray (@deray) September 20, 2016
To those who’ve questioned why San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during The Star-Spangled Banner before football games, here’s your answer. Given the current racial climate of this country, why should Kaepernick stand for the national anthem? Especially after a black man stood in front of police, with his hands up, and his life was still taken.
People don't want to hear the actual reasons Kaepernick sits….but want to hear every reason "why" Terence Crutcher was shot.
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) September 20, 2016
New De La Soul documentary
from ‘Mass Appeal’ chronicles the group’s long journey
When it comes to lessons on how to stay not only relevant, but successful, there’s no better example in hip-hop than De La Soul. When the three kids from Amityville, Long Island, New York, burst on the scene back in the late 1980s, they were a completely different look and sound from what most of the game was doing in that era. Lazily categorized as rap hippies, their career has spanned four decades.
Personally, Buhloone Mindstate is my favorite album of theirs, but Stakes Is High probably ranks as the best. Anyway, their journey has been legendary, and with the help of Mass Appeal they now have a documentary to show for it. The half-hour film has a lot of great moments for older heads who remember how the group’s identities were always being tested. There’s a great appearance from then music A&R Dante Ross and, of course, the group itself, along with Prince Paul, is a big part of the film.
Perhaps the most interesting footage is of both Paul and Maceo making beats. Those clips have the feel of Rhythm Roulette, the feature that the site does featuring random producers plying their trade after a trip to the record store. Anyway, it’s worth noting that when De La Soul tried to crowdfund a record, the group asked for $110,000. Their fans chimed in with more than $600,000.
Indeed, De La Soul is not dead.
What is #TheRealAU
Black students at American University set to protest racist treatment on campus
2:55 PMWhile Howard and Hampton universities were across town battling over who could call themselves “The Real HU” on the gridiron, farther uptown in the leafier climes of Northwest Washington D.C., black students at American University were using the hashtag #TheRealAU to shed light on incidents across campus that they say are racially motivated. One student told The Washington Post that a banana was thrown at her late at night inside a dorm.
The school held a town hall on the matter, but at the same time claimed the scenarios were not racially biased. “Regarding the known facts, on Sept. 8, an incident that was not characterized as bias-related occurred in a residence hall,” a university statement said. It’s not the first time something has happened like this in recent weeks, and the AU Black Student Alliance issued a statement of its own regarding the matter.
Good morning. 💚💛❤️✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/4Ogh6t82DZ
— AmericanU BSA (@AU_BSA) September 16, 2016
It’s also important to understand the climate of American University. Known for turning out many politically minded graduates, many people on campus would consider themselves progressive. But it’s also the kind of place where most of the black people you see there are those working in facilities or food service on campus.
We got folks who will break hell a loose in the name of saving little Ugandan cuties but are ghost re black girls on campus #therealAU
— hot sauce and honey (@fineandfierce) September 19, 2016
#therealAU is a tale of learning to protect yourself not only from blatant racism but from "liberal" friends who still don't get your fight
— hot sauce and honey (@fineandfierce) September 19, 2016
In 2015, Sydney Gore wrote a story titled “What It’s Really Like To Be Black On Campus: As Told By a Black College Grad” for Nylon magazine. In the essay, she describes how in her final year on campus at AU, the moods of racial tension across the country exploded into a barrage of insults on social media in the university environment.
“Instead of being met with support by our peers, we were criticized. Students posted statuses about how our chanting was disrupting them from studying because this happened to occur during finals,” Gore wrote. “The backlash was so bad that it got to a point where people were calling our demonstrations a ‘minstrel show’ on Yik Yak. (I want to point out that my student body constantly rallies in support for anything that has to do with the environment, but as soon as the discussion turns to the human lives that occupy that space, allies are silent and nowhere to be found.)”
There’s a protest scheduled on campus for 4 p.m. on Monday, and we’ll update as needed.
Daily Dose: 9/19/16
Suspect in custody following New York City explosion
2:00 PMMy colleague Mike Wise wrote an incredibly personal column about how his life relates to the situation at Penn State University. We’ll have him on the All Day Podcast to discuss it. Be sure to tune in.
An explosion went off in New York City over the weekend and the effects are still being felt across the region. There was confusion from the beginning. Facebook immediately set up a safe check-in system and politicians were using it for their campaign gain. But, behind all that, the blast that was previously not considered to be affiliated with terrorism maybe sort of is now. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump thinks we should be profiling people, by the way. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was on Good Morning America on Monday, trying to ease peoples’ fears. A suspect has been caught.
Bears are tremendous animals. They’re almost fun to watch. They get a bad rap as overly dangerous because people have these fears about getting mauled or their children being eaten or whatever. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with them. From Berenstain to Yogi to Chicago, bears have always been good to me. Plus, how can you dislike anything you can watch catch their own fish? In certain residential areas, though, bears are a real problem. On this week’s What’s The Point podcast, FiveThirtyEight’s team discusses the secret to tracking bears.
When Washington and Dallas faced off on NFL Sunday, it was a heated battle. Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman faced off against Dallas Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant a couple of times, but ultimately, the Cowboys prevailed, 27-23, after Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins couldn’t hit any receivers open downfield. Anyways, after said loss, the league decided it wanted to drug test Norman. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy. Why is not exactly clear, but he felt that making someone urinate in a cup instantly after a game is insulting. ESPN’s John Keim reports.
Courtney B. Vance is that dude. The longtime actor who portrayed Johnnie Cochran in FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a limited series Sunday night, and his speech was tremendous. These things are not always easy to pull off without going fully rogue, but Vance nailed it. Check out that little punch move he pulls on Cuba Gooding Jr. before hitting the stage. He then proceeded to shout out his wife, Angela Bassett, then walked off with a hilarious kicker.
Coffee Break: If you’re not familiar with the concept of “guarantee games,” it’s when big college football programs pay smaller schools to come play them at home. The money is guaranteed for the smaller program and the win is guaranteed for the big school. But, there is a psychological cost, at some point.
Dessert: Danny Brown’s new song is mega fire. Give it a spin.