What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

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.

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.

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.

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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 allday@andscape.com.

Daily Dose: 9/20/16

Will black millennials be voting for Hillary Clinton?

3:15 PMProgramming update: got a new episode of Locker Room Lawyer AND a new podcast episode for you to consume today.

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.

Free Food

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

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.

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 allday@andscape.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.

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.

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.

New De La Soul documentary

from ‘Mass Appeal’ chronicles the group’s long journey

5:18 PM

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.

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.

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.

Free Food

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.

Snack Time: Reasons Nos. 1-10 as to why I don’t attend NFL games as a fan: fights. People get hammered and act extremely violent. On Sunday, we had two more entries to add to that list.

Dessert: Danny Brown’s new song is mega fire. Give it a spin.

Daily Dose: 9/16/16

Step right up, get your iPhones

3:00 PMI went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture this week. It was a transformational experience, to say the least. I wrote about it.

Guess what, folks? President Barack Obama was born in the United States! Who knew? For years, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump wasn’t one of those people. The man who rose to prominence politically when he publicly demanded that Obama release his birth certificate is suddenly acting like Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is the one who created this issue. This is truly remarkable in its audacity, if we’re being honest. My man is literally just lying to people’s faces then telling you he’s not. ABC News has the story.

People are still lining up for phones. We’ll know that society has advanced as a populous when this is no longer a thing, but until then, we’ll keep talking about it. The culture of the people who do this is fascinating to me. Who are these people who have the disposable income and, more importantly, the time to just sit around outside on a lawn chair waiting for a piece of technology to be released? Anyway, Apple has released the iPhone 7, which is the first version to not have a headphone jack, if you care about that. ABC News reports.

Since the Emmys are around the corner, let’s talk some more TV. A lot of people are on television for a long time, sometimes playing different, but mainly similar roles. There are actors who excel on multiple programs, but others who have only been solid in one role. For example, Kadeem Hardison will always be Dwayne Wayne from A Different World. How that dynamic of intertextuality plays into who gets what awards is a fascinating discussion. FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey breaks down stars who were basically great in one role.

Megan Rapinoe is a real one. She took her protest game to the next level, after Washington Spirit owner Bill Lynch threw shade during a National Women’s Soccer League game. She knelt during the national anthem before a game she was playing with the U.S. women’s national team in Columbus, Ohio. Worth noting that in that city, a 13-year-old was killed by police just this week. Anyway, it’s a completely different thing to do this when you’re actually wearing the flag on your jersey, so good for her. ESPN’s Graham Hays reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If nothing else, rapper Bobby Shmurda is a good friend. The Brooklynite, who’s been wrapped up in legal battles for what seems like forever, managed to get less jail time for his friend Rowdy Rebel. How’d he do it? By taking a longer sentence himself. That’s loyalty.

Snack Time: You know you’ve got a pretty disgusting mass transit system if you have to try to design a paint that actually repels urine. Alas, that’s exactly what they’re doing in Philadelphia, if you’re visiting anytime soon.

Dessert: So, they’re making real life Transformers now. Very cool.