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What We All Should Learn from the Vandalization of LeBron James’ Home

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It’s time to get deep.

As you may know, on Wednesday (May 31) it was reported that a racial slur was painted on a gate at the home of LeBron James. You know what word it was, the N-word. LeBron has addressed the situation giving his own statement.

“…No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough. We have a long way to go for us as a society and for us as African-Americans until we feel equal in America.”

The incident has gone viral, sparking a number of reactions from celebs and members of the African American community. This follows the appearance of a noose in the segregation exhibit of the Smithsonian African American Museum. A somber mood and dark cloud seemed to settle in for many of us this week.

Let’s start with the irony. When the incident was reported, they said that a racial slur was painted on the gates of James’ Brentwood mansion in Los Angeles. Brentwood, does that sound familiar? It should because it was the same exact neighborhood that O.J. Simpson resided prior to his arrest for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. If you’re like me and absorbed all things O.J over the years (“The People vs. O.J. Simpson”, “O.J Simpson: Made in America”) you know why this is not shocking. O.J. at one time referred to himself as “the Mayor of Brentwood”. That changed very quickly once he was arrested. You see, the vandals of LeBron’s home aren’t rednecks. They are likely neighbors or peers. People who want to remind him that he doesn’t belong there, as they have before. LeBron himself sighted that racism is always there, it’s just usually concealed. Those residents probably always felt that way about LeBron, but many racists have been emboldened since our new “president” took office. The uptick in hate crimes reveals what has always been there beneath the surface. Hatred isn’t isn’t new, it’s as American as apple pie.

 

I thought response LeBron’s response was honest and candid. He let the world know that even he wasn’t immune to the horrors of racism. However, I want to put it in the proper perspective. I’ve been Black all my life, but I have never been a n*gger. Nor do I know any. What is a n*gger? Whenever the word is said, people always look to Blacks. In my mind, since it is the worst thing you could call someone, it must be the worst thing you can be. So given that, the person who painted it wasn’t talking about LeBron. They were simply writing their own name.

We are not n*ggers, and we can no longer allow that word to paralyze us. Each time we react to it, we give away our power. When people use that word, that is literally their “trump” card. It is their best and typically only shot to attempt to hurt and offend you. If you don’t react, they don’t have a plan B. The devil doesn’t have any new tricks. 400 years and they can’t find a better word? In 400 years of oppression, we have risen from slaves to scientists, doctors, engineers, President. N*ggers and nooses? 400 years later they are still using their great-great-great-grandfathers version of racism. To all the racists I have this to say: When I see or hear that word n*gger and hear about nooses, I’m not angry or offended or hurt. I’m bored. Bored by the lack of creativity that racists have. If you’re the masters of the universe like you claim to be, then surely you can do better. And you’re going to have to because we are still here. In 400 years, we’ll still be here. You have LOST. No matter the obstacles, Blacks have survived. You can continue to oppress us, beat us, and kill some of us, but we aren’t going ANYWHERE. You may as well give up while you’re behind.

We are a strong, beautiful, resilient people. We thrive in chaos and adversity. We will not be intimidated or fearful. We must continue to face each day with grace and dignity. Because we are still here, 400 years later. Stay encouraged and amazing. There is nothing more Black than that.

 

What are your thoughts on LeBron’s home and the increase in hate crimes in America?

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Uncle Snoop Get Your Apology to Ari Lennox Ready

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Apparently, everyone’s favorite uncle likes apologizing. Fresh off of his apology tour for his controversial comments towards broadcast journalists Gayle King,  Snoop Dogg decided to comment on Ari Lennox’s Instagram live to instruct her to “grow your own hair.”

Yesterday, the Dreamville songbird took to Instagram Live in true Ari fashion to document her trying on a new lace front wig.  Not known for wearing wigs, she struggled with figuring out how much lace to cut and securing the hair as she entertained her followers with hilarious gestures and commentary.  

Eventually, a snippet of the video ended up on The Shade Room for everyone’s viewing pleasure.  

Moments later, Snoop was unnecessarily commenting under the video.

In no time, women were coming to Ari’s defense, reminding the legendary rapper that his wife and daughter are no strangers to wigs. 

You’d think men would know to leave their opinions to themselves when it comes to women’s hair, especially black women, but clearly, Uncle Snoop forgot to read that particular memo. 

Once Ari caught wind of Snoop’s comments, she delivered a lovely little shade tree, posting a photo of Snoop wearing a blonde wig with the caption, “Uncle I just…I just thought we had an understanding….”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-c0mCKh9-E/

Following the backlash that he’s currently receiving, I can already envision the apology that’s sure to follow.  Perhaps someone should remind Uncle Snoop that the best apology is changed behavior…

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DJ D-Nice Has Spun His Way Into the Living Rooms of Thousands

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Every day, legendary DJ D-Nice (a.k.a. Derrick Jones) spends countless hours helping thousands of global citizens forget about the coronavirus pandemic and financial woes with his “Homeschool” parties.

Initially jumping on Instagram Live to cure his boredom while “self-isolating,” D-Nice had an audience of a few hundred, mostly friends. As word began to spread, it grew to a few thousand. By Sunday, over 160,000 people joined his live for a virtual party that included the heavyweights such as Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett-Smith, 9th Wonder, Jimmy Fallon, and Vice President Joe Biden. 

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I never would’ve imagined that the best party I would create and DJ would be from the comfort of my own home. Homeschool is a thing! Yesterday was absolutely insane. The amount of artists and friends that virtually partied with me far exceeded my expectations. I’m feeling nothing but gratitude. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 Thanks to all of you that supported. This has been a great way to keep our spirits high. Blessings! Sending some love to my family. Shout out to all of my industry execs! Much love to all of the artists! JLo, Drake, Naomi Campbell, De La Soul, Black Thought, Diddy, Bun B., Keri Hilson, Will Packer, Gabrielle Union, H.E.R., America Ferrara, Donnie Wahlberg, Uncle Luke, Russell Simmons, Dapper Dan, Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige, DJ Khaled, T.I., Kelly Rowland, Common, Lance Gross, Queen Latifah, DJ Clark Kent, Rich Medina, DJ Tony Touch, Stretch Armstrong, Traci Ellis Ross, Ne-Yo, Usher, DJ Premier, Swizz Beatz, NO I.D., Yvette Noel Schure, Erykah Badu, Fat Joe, Jay Electronica, PNB Rock, Nile Rogers, Fonzworth Bentley, Marisa Tomei, Michelle Williams, Victor Cruz, Karruenche Tran, Ciara, Daymond John, Angie Martinez, Groove Theory’s Bryce, Tank, Cam’ron, Ludacris, Fabolous, Dorian Missick, Yvette Nicole Brown, Tasha Smith, Jadakiss, Kwamé, Chris Spencer, Royale Watkins, Estelle, Bresha Webb, Jermaine Dupri, Vanessa Williams, DJ Aktive, Lee Daniels, Affion Crockett, MC Lyte, Ro James, D-Dot Angelette, Kenny Burns, Tika Sumpter, Marlon Wayans, Lauren London, Loni Love, Dallas Austin, June Ambrose, April Walker, Just Blaze, Kangol Kid from UTFO, Omar Epps, Keisha Epps, Roland Martin, Big Tigger, DJ Trauma, Lil Jon, Dule Hill, Jazmyn Simon, DJ Cassidy, Marsai Martin, Lance Gross, Anthony Hamilton, Young Guru, Lalah Hathaway, Carl Payne, Damien Hall, Denyce Lawton, Lennox Lewis, Niecy Nash, Mashonda, Erick Sermon, Jairobi, DJ Envy, DJ Enuff, Miles Brown, Lamann Rucker, Mark Brown, DJ VLuv, and more. Wow! #DNiceHomeschool #DNicePhotography #SelfPortrait.

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During a CBS This Morning interview, D-Nice shared, “I literally just played what feels good. I wanted people to feel good. I wanted their experience to be lifted through music, just one song at a time.” And he’s done just that. While on live, his comment section is a constant stream of cheers, shout outs, and music-lovers asking, “Where the drinks at?” It feels like the best VIP section you’ll ever experience but from your living room. 

“No matter what your problems are, you can put on a good tune and it just takes you away and I was trying to do that,” he explained. “It wasn’t just the music, it was the whole experience and everyone escaping what’s going on today just for a few hours.”

While some of his neighbors have complained about the noise, D-Nice is committed to keeping the party going as the universal language of music is playing a vital role in keeping us all connected. 

Artwork by @chuckstyless

We have DJ D-Nice to thank for that! 

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Jay Electronica & Joe Budden Used Their Twitter Fingers to Exchange Insults

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It took 10 years for Jay Electronica to release his highly-anticipated album, A Written Testimony. While some are singing his praises, others are incredibly disappointed. One such person is former rapper turned media personality, Joe Budden. 

Budden used his platform, The Joe Budden Podcast episode Dry Snitching to express his disappointment. Budden proclaimed, “You’ve been missing for ten years- which is cool, ’cause you’ve been living life. But that confidence that I thought you might’ve been living life with is suppressed…that lens that I’m looking through paints the story of a different MC. And that MC is one that would get smacked around by Hov on every song.”

In response, Electronica took to Twitter and posted a video clip of DaBaby saying “fuck it,” directing the tweet at Rory, one of the co-hosts on Budden’s podcast.

Shortly after, Budden responded referring to Jay-Z’s performance on A Written Testimony, where he appears on eight of ten tracks. “I never got absolutely mopped around on my own project either… @ me, not Rory.”

Here’s how the rest of that conversation went:

The tirade ended with Electronica demanding credit for “lighting up” the podcast episode.

Electronica released A Written Testimony on Friday, March 13th. It’s his first solo album after more than ten years of delays with features by Jay-Z, The-Dream and Travis Scott, with additional production by The Alchemist, No ID, Swizz Beatz and Hit-Boy.

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